Tennessee took a hard-fought, 68-60, win over Vanderbilt in Nashville on Tuesday night.
The Commodores tied it at 60 all on a Scottie Pippen Jr. three with just over a minute left. But Uros Plavsic got a putback basket and freshman Zakia Zeigler stole an inbounds pass to push the Vols back in the driver's seat.
Tennessee led by just a point at halftime at 33-32. It would have been a three-point lead, but Plavsic fouled Pippen near half court with less than a second left. He hit two of the three shots.
Santiago Vescovi had 14 points in the contest that featured several skirmishes that brought technical fouls. Kennedy Chandler and Plavsic got 13 each, and Zeigler had 11.
Josiah-Jordan James suffered a head injury in the first half and did not return.
Pippen scored 18 for the Commodores and Jordan Wright had 15. Trey Thomas connected on several long shots and scored 12.
Tennessee returns to Thompson-Boling Arena on Saturday for a rematch with No. 13 LSU. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Tennessee entered Tuesday's game ranking seventh in Division I with 10.3 steals per game as a team. Against Vanderbilt, the Vols recorded 14 steals - their second-most against an SEC opponent this season.
The Vols' point guard duo of Chandler and Zeigler combined for nine steals.