KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A.J. Ogilvy bumbled around the basket. Jeffrey Taylor struggled to find his shot. Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings didn't mind.
He had Jermaine Beal available to rescue the Commodores.
"He's a real nice security blanket, I will tell you," Stallings said.
Beal had 25 points and No. 21 Vanderbilt won its 10th straight game, 85-76 over No. 14 Tennessee on Wednesday night. It was Vandy's first win in Knoxville in five tries and its first win over a ranked opponent this season.
Stallings has plenty to feel good about besides Beal's clutch play. Vanderbilt (16-3, 5-0 SEC) is off to its best start in the league since 1966 and will head to No. 1 Kentucky on Saturday with control of the SEC East Division.
"This was a fun one. This was a good win for our team," Stallings said.
It was Tennessee's second straight conference loss after it fell at Georgia on Saturday. It hosts Florida on Sunday. "If we don't start focusing better, this is going to keep happening," UT's Bobby Maze said. "The SEC's not just all of a sudden going to start getting easier."
NO. 3 VILLANOVA 90, NOTRE DAME 72: Scottie Reynolds and Corey Fisher had 17 points each for the host Wildcats, 19-1 for the first time and the only team unbeaten in Big East play (8-0).
NO. 6 TEXAS 95, TEXAS TECH 83: Guards Justin Mason and Dogus Balbay, who were averaging just more than seven points between them, combined for 31 as the host Longhorns (18-2, 4-1 Big 12) avoided a three-game skid.
NO. 23 NEW MEXICO 76, NO. 12 BYU 72: Dairese Gary had 25 points, including nine over the final 1:30, as the host Lobos (19-3, 5-2 Mountain West) snapped a 15-game winning streak by the Cougars (20-2, 5-1).
CHARLOTTE 74, NO. 15 TEMPLE 64: Derrio Green had 26 points as the 49ers rallied to end the Owls' six-game winning streak. Temple (17-4, 5-1 Atlantic 10) coughed up a 10-point first-half lead.
PROVIDENCE 81, NO. 19 UCONN 66: Jamine Peterson had 23 points, eight during a 14-0 run, as the host Friars, coming off an overtime loss to USF, handed the Huskies (13-7, 3-4) their first loss in three games under substitute coach George Blaney.
NO. 20 OHIO ST. 65, IOWA 57: David Lighty had 18 of his 20 points in the second half for the Buckeyes (15-6, 5-3 Big Ten), who won their second road game.
TAMPA 66, PALM BEACH ATLANTIC 61: Rashad Callaway and Callum Townsend had 20 points each as the visiting Spartans (9-8) rallied to snap a five-game losing streak.
ROLLINS 59, ECKERD 57: Myk Brown had 26 points as the host Tars snapped a four-game winning streak by the Tritons (10-7, 4-4 Sunshine State).