Feb. 13, 2005
By ELIZABETH A. DAVIS
AP Sports Writer
The fifth-ranked Lady Vols (19-4, 9-1 Southeastern Conference) were ahead by 11 with 4:44 remaining, but No. 21 Vanderbilt kept whittling away at the lead.
After Zolman's jumper with 2:24 to go, Ashley Earley scored inside and Dee Davis had a driving layup to cut it to 67-63 with 1:55 left.
Zolman's basket was Tennessee's last field goal, but the Lady Vols went 5-of-6 from the free throw line down the stretch to pull out their eighth straight victory over the Commodores (17-6, 6-4). Tennessee was 15-of-23 at the foul line overall while Vanderbilt was 8-of-10.
Tennessee has won 59 in a row over SEC opponents at home - the Commodores have never beaten Tennessee in Knoxville.
The Lady Vols opened the second half with a 6-0 run to extend their lead to 15. To cap the spurt, Alexis Hornbuckle dribbled behind her back, spun around Earley and sank a short jumper.
Earley, however, spent most of the game blowing past Tennessee defenders and helped Vanderbilt prevent its deficit from getting too big.
Earley led the Commodores with 24 points on 11-of-12 shooting from the floor and had 11 rebounds. Abi Ramsey added 17 points before fouling out with 19.2 seconds left.
The Lady Vols' biggest lead was 16 in the second half, and the Commodores cut the lead from 11 to seven with 5:32 left after a basket by Earley and a pair of free throws by Carla Thomas.
Tennessee restored the lead to 11 over the next minute, but Thomas scored again and Ramsey hit a 3 to trim it to 57-63 with 3:40 to go.
Tennessee rebounded from a 68-58 loss at top-ranked LSU on Thursday that snapped the Lady Vols' SEC regular-season winning streak at 42 games.
Ely came off the bench for the second time this season after struggling at LSU with only six points.
Fluker, who was 6-of-8 from the field, gave Tennessee a reliable presence. She was playing in her second game back from missing two while she was at home in California for her grandmother's funeral.