AMES, Iowa (Ticker) -- Tennessee proved its case.
Gwen Jackson had 18 points and 12 rebounds and Michelle Snow made three big shots down the stretch as the second-seeded Lady Vols advanced to their 13th Final Four appearance with a 68-63 victory over top seed Vanderbilt in the Midwest Region.
Tennessee coach Pat Summitt expressed frustration when her team was made the No. 2 seed in the same region that the Commodores, a Southeastern Conference rival, received the top spot. She thought both schools were among the top four in the nation and if sent to the same region, Vanderbilt with six losses should have been seeded second.
The Lady Vols (29-4) may have proved Summit right as they never trailed in the second half and had a 57-47 lead with 7:54 to go. But Vanderbilt responded with eight straight points and closed within 57-55 on a layup by Chantelle Anderson with 5:29 left.
But Snow, who had attempted just one shot in the first 34 1/2 minutes, knocked down a jumper 23 seconds later. She hit another with 4:20 to go before Anderson sank two free throws to make it 61-57 at 3:08.
Jackson buried a jumper with 2:46 remaining and, after Anderson scored three straight points, Snow connected again with 49 seconds to play for a 65-60 edge.
Zuzi Klimesova missed a 3-pointer for the Commodores and freshman Brittany Jackson sank two free throws to seal Summitt's 788th career victory, tying her with Texas' Jody Conradt for the all-time record.
The Lady Vols will face Connecticut in the Final Four for the fourth time on Friday in San Antonio, Texas.
Jackson scored 10 points and Loree Moore added eight off the bench for Tennessee, which shot 42 percent (26-of-62) but had a 34-26 rebounding edge. The Lady Vols grabbed 12 offensive boards.
Anderson finished with 35 points and 12 rebounds and Klimesova added 18 points, but no other Vanderbilt player scored in the final 18 minutes.
The Commodores (30-7) shot 53 percent (24-of-45) and made 12-of-18 free throws.