- Associated Press - Friday, February 12, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - In a story Feb. 11 on the Tennessee-Vanderbilt women’s game, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Tennessee had lost to Texas A&M; and Mississippi in its previous two road games leading up to the Vanderbilt trip. Tennessee had lost to Texas A&M; and Mississippi State in its previous two road games.

A corrected version of the story is below:

No. 25 Tennessee women beat Vanderbilt 69-51

Jaime Nared scored a season-high 18 points to lead five Tennessee players in double figures and No. 25 Tennessee ended a five-game road losing streak with a 69-51 win over Vanderbilt on Thursday night

By CHIP CIRILLO

Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - One word kept coming up over and over in Holly Warlick’s post-game press conference - finish.

No. 25 Tennessee finally finished strong, ending a five-game road losing streak with a 69-51 win over Vanderbilt on Thursday night.

The Lady Vols (15-9, 6-5 Southeastern Conference) protected their fourth-quarter lead this time after blowing double-digit advantages in overtime road losses to Texas A&M; and Mississippi State in their previous two road defeats.

Double-digit leads slipped away in all five of Tennessee’s SEC losses.

“We talked a lot about this: to finish the game, finish the job,” said Warlick, the Lady Vols coach. “We had an opportunity to fold and we didn’t. In those other (SEC) games we folded up.”

Jaime Nared scored a season-high 18 points to lead five Tennessee players in double figures. Diamond DeShields scored 12 and Te’a Cooper and 6-foot-6 center Mercedes Russell both scored 11 points.

“We just needed to get it together and I think we did that,” Nared said. “They were pressing us (late) and I knew we could just attack them because they were kind of all spread out. Everybody was just attacking their press and getting easy layups.”

Jasmine Jenkins scored on a layup, cutting Tennessee’s lead to 52-46 with 5:32 left, but the Lady Vols finished with a 17-5 run.

“At that point, I was like wow, we were down by however many points - almost 20 - and we have a chance to win with a couple minutes left,” Jenkins said. “I think that just goes to say how talented we are. I thought we could have focused more on getting stops on defense.”

Tennessee’s Bashaara Graves, who played sparingly in Sunday’s overtime loss at Texas A&M; due to a sprained ankle, scored 10 points.

Vanderbilt (15-9, 4-7) suffered it fourth straight loss and shot only 38 percent from the floor.

Tennessee outscored Vanderbilt 42-20 in the paint and 22-16 in bench points.

“We didn’t defend and I think that’s killing us,” Vanderbilt coach Melanie Balcomb said. “They got what they wanted defensively in their game plan and we did not. We need to get back to defense.”

Rebekah Dahlman scored 13 points to lead Vanderbilt. Minta Spears added 11. Jenkins scored 10.

Tennessee went 0 for 12 from 3-point range. Vanderbilt was 4 of 14.

Tennessee took charge early with a 9-0 run capped by Nared’s jumper that gave the Lady Vols a 15-4 lead with 2:25 left in the first quarter.

Vanderbilt was 0 for 9 from 3-point range before Dahlman buried a 3 from the left corner and Minta Spears followed with a 3 that cut the Vols lead to 29-17.

Powered by 20 points in the paint and seven off turnovers, Tennessee took a 33-19 lead into halftime.

Vanderbilt outscored Tennessee 19-15 in the third quarter. Dahlman’s foul shot cut the deficit to 48-38 with six seconds left in the third quarter.

___

TIP-INS

Tennessee: The Lady Vols’ ranking is the lowest ever during their 564-week streak of being in the Top 25 that started on Feb. 17, 1985. … Since former coach Pat Summitt took command in 1974, Tennessee has never lost six straight road games…. Reserve guard Alexa Middleton, hampered by a sprained ankle, didn’t play.

Vanderbilt: The Commodores were outrebounded 36-24. . The Commodores fell behind 20-7 after the first quarter and never recovered. . Vanderbilt was also outscored 21-13 in the fourth quarter.

NO 3’S

Tennessee went 0 for 12 from 3-point range. “We’re not shooting the 3-ball very well,” Warlick said. “I was hoping one would go in. We’ve got to learn to one-two dribble pull-up when the shot’s not falling. We’re not a very good 3-point shooting team. I’m not letting out any secrets.”

UP NEXT

Tennessee hosts No. 2 South Carolina on Monday.

Vanderbilt hosts No. 18 Kentucky on Sunday.

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