KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Te'a Cooper scored 13 points and sparked a critical third-quarter run to end her personal slump Thursday as No. 18 Tennessee defeated Vanderbilt 58-49 and continued its home domination of this series.
Vanderbilt rallied from a 14-point deficit and only trailed 52-49 when it had the ball on two separate occasions in the final minute, but the Commodores turned the ball over both times. Tennessee sealed the victory by going 6 of 6 on free throws in the final 16 seconds.
The Commodores (13-5, 2-3 SEC) have never beaten the Lady Volunteers at Knoxville in 31 attempts. Tennessee's latest victory over its in-state rival enabled the Lady Vols (12-6, 3-2) to avoid their first three-game losing streak since 1986.
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Tennessee was clinging to a 30-28 lead in the third quarter when Cooper scored her team's first nine points in a 14-2 spurt that gave the Lady Vols a double-digit advantage.