John Jenkins scored a team-high 18 points, but Vanderbilt struggled with 3-point shots and foul shots in a 68-61 loss to Tennessee on Saturday at Thompson-Boling Arena.
The Commodores and Volunteers each finished the Southeastern Conference regular season at 10-6. As a result, they had to wait for Florida’s result on Sunday before their seeding for next week’s conference tournament was determined.
UT (18-13) overall was picked to finish 11th in the conference’s preseason rankings but now could finish as high as No. 2.
Jeffery Taylor was scoreless in the first half but gave Vanderbilt (21-10) one of two second-half leads when his first basket made it 31-30 in the opening seconds of the second half. The Commodores’ last lead was at 33-32 after Lance Goulborune’s layup with 18:22 to play.
Tennessee went ahead to stay when scored the next nine points, including six by Cameron Tatum. The closest Vanderbilt got after that was two, 44-42, and three, 56-53, the latter following a Taylor layup with 4:23 remaining.
Taylor made just one of six 3-point attempts and one of three free throws and finished with 10 points. Goulbourne added 12 points, seven rebounds and a game-high four steals.
As a team, the Commodores shot just 33 percent (7-21) on 3-pointers and 50 percent (8-16) on free throws.
The Volunteers made just three of 16 3-pointers (18.8 percent) but hit on 23 of 29 free throws (79.3 percent).
Tatum tied Jenkins with 18 points, and Trae Golden, who was a perfect eight-for-eight from the foul line, added 17. Jarnell Stokes contributed 11 points, 14 rebounds and five blocked shots.