Vandy falls at Alabama, 78-73

Darshawn McClellan (AP Photo/Dan Lopez)

TUSCALOOSA-- The Vanderbilt Commodores (25-6, 10-6) lost their sixth game of the season and their shot at the No. 2 seed in the Southeastern Conference tournament when they lost to the Alabama Crimson Tide (16-15, 5-11) 78-73 in Tuscaloosa on Saturday afternoon.

The loss also keeps this team in a tie with the 1992-1993 team for most wins in a regular season at 25.

The Crimson Tide went on a 18-6 run towards the end of the first half that was capped by two Alonzo Gee free throws to build a 38-28 lead. The Commodores would get a stop on their last possession of the half but were unable to get a good shot off before the intermission.

The Commodores were able to go on an 11-2 run early in the second half to build a 48-46 lead with 7:58 remaining in regulation.

The Crimson Tide would answer with a 16-5 run of their own to that gave them a 62-57 lead with just 1:45 left. The Commodores were able to get the game to overtime after an Andre Walker layup cut Alabama's lead to 3. The Commodores got a defensive stop, and then Alex Gordon threw a beautiful outlet pass to A.J. Ogilvy who made the layup and was fouled. Ogilvy would hit the free throw to complete the three point play. Vanderbilt would get the ball back with eight tenths of a second left to play, and had a shot to win the game in regulation, but Ogilvy was unable to score on a pass from Alan Metcalfe that went the length of the floor.

The overtime opened with back to back steals by Shan Foster. On the first steal Foster took the ball in for a layup, but on the second steal he missed a three that would have given the Commodores a five point lead. That was when Mykal Riley took over. Riley scored 13 points in overtime including three three pointers, a layup and a pair of free throws. "The difference in the game obviously was what Riley was able to do in overtime. He was fantastic and our hats go off to him. We had our chances but mentally we were not in the mindset to win today. The best thing we have going for us is our team attitude and today that wasn't our strength. We deserved to get beat and hopefully it will be good for us. Riley made some good cuts and we gave into fatigue. We didn't follow defensive fundamentals and we just managed to not make a play," Vanderbilt Coach Kevin Stallings said after the game.

Foster led the Commodores in scoring with 21. Ogilvy added 17, and Ross Neltner bounced back from an 0-10 shooting performance against Mississippi State to score 13.

Riley led the Crimson Tide with 26. They also got double figures from Alonzo Gee with 16 and Richard Hendrix with 12.

The Commodores will open up the SEC Tournament on Thursday at 2:15 central time against the no. 6 seed from the Eastern Division.

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