NASHVILLE, Tennessee — With the post players struggling, Tennessee guard Andraya Carter stepped up her game.
The sophomore guard scored a career-high 19 points and No. 7 Tennessee used a solid defensive effort to beat Vanderbilt 57-49 on Monday night.
"When teams see how strong of a an inside game we have, you kind of have to gamble a little bit and I think most teams want to take away our inside game," Carter said. "So it's up to the guards to make the decisions and we have to get ball movement and player movement to get the ball inside. It definitely makes it tougher when (opponents) are packing it in."
Tennessee center Isabelle Harrison, a former star at nearby Hillsboro High School in Nashville, was held scored three points — 8.3 below her average. Lady Volunteers forward Bashaara Graves was held to two points, 8.6 below her average, as she was limited to two shots.
"If I were to say last night if we could hold Harrison and Graves to three and two would we win, I'd say yea," Vanderbilt coach Melanie Balcomb said. "They had other people step up. You gave four other kids double figures, not just Carter."
Ariel Massengale scored 12 points while Jordan Reynolds added 11 and Cierra Burdick 10 points for the Lady Vols (12-2, 2-0 SEC), who have won eight straight.
Vanderbilt shot just 33 percent from the field.
"I thought we were aggressive and I thought we attacked the basketball," Tennessee coach Hollly Warlick said. "I thought for the most part we gave (Vanderbilt) one shot. We got them to take quick shots."
Vanderbilt (8-6, 0-2) has lost four of its last five. The Commodores narrowed the gap to 47-43 late before Tennessee's Nia Moore hit a 3-pointer with 1:11 left to seal the win.
The lowest point total for Balcomb in 13 seasons with the Commodores is 39 against Louisiana State on Feb. 18, 2010.
Tennessee outrebounded Vanderbilt 39-27, including a 17-12 edge on the offensive glass. The Lady Vols outscored the Commodores 12-4 in second-chance points.
"We got beat on the boards like you can't get beat on the boards to Tennessee or you're going to lose," Balcomb said. "They punished us. If we just fight on the boards somewhat this game could have been different. Physicality."
It was a good tune-up for Tennessee, which hosts No. 9 Texas A&M on Thursday.
Freshman Khaleann Caron-Goudreau came off the bench to score 10 points for Vanderbilt. Christa Reed led the Commodores with 13 points.
Tennessee: The Lady Vols improved their series lead to 64-9, but Tennessee is only 4-3 in the last seven. Tennessee's three most recent losses came at Vanderbilt.
Vanderbilt: The Commodores played a top 10 opponent for the second straight game, including Thursday's loss at No. 9 Texas A&M. ... The Commodores' bench outscored the Lady Vols 38-12.
Tennessee hit 18 of 22 from the foul line for an 81.8 percent clip. Ariel Massengale was a perfect 6 for 6 and Andraya Carter was 5 for 6.
Vanderbilt shot 41 percent from beyond the 3-point arc, hitting 7 of 17. Rebekah Dahlman Khaleann Caron-Goudreau and Christa Reed each had two.
Tennessee: hosts Texas A&M on Thursday.
Vanderbilt: visits Louisiana State on Thursday