for this game

Foster, Vanderbilt take down Tennessee

Jan 11, 2007 - 6:05 AM NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Tennessee finally lost its home-court edge in Nashville.

Shan Foster converted a follow shot at the buzzer to lift Vanderbilt to an 82-81 Southeastern Conference victory over the 20th-ranked Volunteers.

The Commodores (11-5, 1-1 SEC East) snapped the Vols' winning streak at nine overall and handed them their first loss in four games in this city.

"We're obviously happy to have won. I guess that's what rivalry games are all about," Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said. "Somebody wins on the last play and tonight we had the last play."

Tennessee (13-3, 1-1 East) had won twice in the NIT Preseason Tip-Off in November and owned a 79-77 victory over Oklahoma State on December 18 here.

Chris Lofton scored 29 points, including six 3-pointers, for the Vols, who appeared on the way to another victory when freshman Duke Crews dunked with five seconds to play for a 81-80 lead.

After both teams called 30-second timeouts, Vandy's Derrick Byars missed a layup but Foster was there to tap it home as time expired.

"A lot of games are won on tip-ins," Foster said. "I saw Derrick go to the basket and I had no intentions of him missing that shot. When it did, my first thought was getting it up there on the rim before time ran (out) and luckily it went in."

Byars led the Commodores with 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting.

"Games like this, it just shows your resolve, and that's definitely something we can build from," Byars said.

Tennessee raced out to a 20-11 lead but Vandy responded with an 11-1 run to go ahead, 22-21, on a 3-pointer by Dan Cage with 6:38 in the half.

Lofton, who scored 16 points in the opening 20 minutes, connected from the arc with 12 seconds left to send the Vols to the locker room with a 40-37 lead at the half.

The Commodores scored the first seven points of the second half and eventually opened an 11-point lead with 10 1/2 minutes to play.

Tennessee slowly chipped away and got within six, but Gage, who was only 4-of-13 from the field, buried another 3-pointer for a 71-65 margin with 5 1/2 minutes left.

"I felt like every single one was going in," Gage said. "I got frustrated because I had two that I thought were good and I missed them. As a shooter you remember the ones you miss and not the ones you make so much."

Tennessee kept coming and used a 9-0 run capped by a 3-pointer by JaJuan Smith for a 74-71 lead with 3:53 left.

Byars hit a jumper to put Vandy back in front, 80-79, with 17 seconds to play. Cage finished with 15 points and Foster 14 for the Commodores, who shot 50 percent (32-of-64) from the floor.

"We scored, they scored, and then we scored again," Stallings said. "I thought Derrick was sensational. We're excited about this win. We obviously needed to win this one badly. This one certainly feels good."

Ramar Smith had 17 points for Tennessee, which lost despite hitting 11-of-23 shots from the arc.

"This was a difficult game to lose," Vols coach Bruce Pearl said. "It was a great basketball game. Whoever lost the game, it would have been difficult. Both teams played hard and really well at times."