Vanderbilt at Tennessee
6 pm
February 16, 2002


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Kara Lawson scored 26 points, 19 in the second half, as third-ranked Tennessee beat No. 6 Vanderbilt 75-68 Saturday night to even the season's series between the in-state rivals.

The Commodores (22-6, 8-4 Southeastern Conference) beat the Lady Vols 76-59 on Feb. 2 to end a nine-game home losing streak.

But Vanderbilt couldn't end its losing streak in Knoxville, falling to 0-17.

Tennessee (22-3, 10-2) looked vulnerable after losing Tuesday to Texas and barely beating Mississippi State on Thursday.

Lawson was the hero in that game, scoring 29 points to jump-start the Lady Vols' struggling half-court offense.

On Saturday, she answered Vanderbilt's second-half surges with driving cuts to the basket.

Vanderbilt, trailing 58-53 with 6:55 left, went ahead 61-60 on Chantelle Anderson's two free throws to finish a quick 6-0 run. Tennessee got the lead back on the next play when Lawson scored on the inbounds pass.

The Commodores got as close as 69-68 with 1:30 left on Zuzi Klimesova's three-point play. The Lady Vols gave the ball to Lawson again, and she drove to the basket to increase the lead to three.

Vanderbilt missed a chance to tie it with 41 seconds left when Tia Battle's 3-pointer clanged off the rim. Michelle Snow got the rebound, and Lawson hit two more free throws at the other end with 18.9 seconds to go to seal it.

Shyra Ely scored 13 points before fouling out for Tennessee, which has won 39 straight SEC games at home since 1996.

Anderson led Vanderbilt with 20 points despite committing four fouls. Jillian Danker added 16 points, including four 3-pointers, and McElhiney had 12. Klimesova added 11 points and seven rebounds.

Anderson's matchup with Snow in the post got most of the attention heading into the game, but Lawson's performance surpassed Anderson's ability to score easily over Snow.

Snow finished with just two points on 1-of-8 shooting from the floor with three fouls.

Tennessee was ahead 52-43 with 11:49 left after a 7-0 run started by Michelle Munoz's three-point play. Most importantly for Tennessee during the spurt was the fourth foul Anderson picked up with 12:33 to go that sent her to the bench.

But even without Anderson, Vanderbilt scrapped to regain the lead with a 10-0 run, fueled by a driving layup by McElhiney and her two free throws that made it 53-52 with 8:28 to go.

Lawson responded with a driving layup and foul to give Tennessee the lead back on the next play. The Lady Vols pushed their lead back to five points two minutes later.

After leading most of the first half, the Commodores were down by one point at halftime.

Vanderbilt was ahead by seven twice in the first half. But the Lady Vols kept chipping away at the lead, finally tying it at 22 after Brittany Jackson hit a 3 and Courtney McDaniel scored inside with 4:52 left.


Vanderbilt Head Coach Jim Foster:
We didn't execute in the end and they did and we obviously did not keep them off the offensive glass. The last two minutes we had very bad turnovers and they (UT) went down and executed. UT played hard, but those turnovers were mental mistakes, not defensive turnovers. We were very casual with the ball and you can't be casual with this team.

On Team's Bench Play - (UT's bench outscored VU's bench 29-4):
That's a big deal when Chantelle (Anderson) is on the bench - we have to have young kids step up.

On Difference in Kara's Lawson play in Nashville game and tonight:
You have to give Mac (Ashley McElhiney) credit at our place and Lawson credit here. Kara Lawson was key to their team - she played with a lot of heart. She made big plays and big baskets.

Junior center Chantelle Anderson:
The day I learn to stay out of foul trouble is the day we grow tremendously as a team.

Tennessee Head Coach Pat Summitt:
I didn't think about revenge - I though about execution.

Chantelle (Anderson) is a great player - they (VU) has great spacing with all their perimeter players, but I have to give our kids credit for going after her.

The difference was bench play, rebounds and free throws.

Junior guard Kara Lawson:
We had shooters on the wings which opened up the drives and pull-ups for me. They put it to us in Nashville, so we wanted to come out of here with a big win.

Senior center Michelle Snow: (On her personal play)
We got the win , that's all that matters.


Vanderbilt Athletic Department
2601 Jess Neely Drive
Nashville, TN 37212
615-322-GOLD (4653)