Needing a home win to hold serve in early league play, the Alabama men’s basketball team erased a 14-point second half deficit to beat Vandy 59-56 at Coleman Coliseum Saturday night. A sparse, weather-affected paid crowd of 11, 2256 was announced.
Alabama Coach Avery Johnson said, “Big time win for us tonight. We withstood some adversity tonight. I’m really proud of our guys. They could have easily packed it in.
“We consistently played defense. I’m not satisfied. Anybody who watched the game knows we still have work to do, but we dominated on the boards, we defended, and rebounded.”
Added Vanderbilt Coach Bryce Drew: “If I saw 20 offensive rebounds (by Bama), you’d think you weren’t’ in position to win the game at all, but we had a chance.
“They did a really good job switching up their defenses in the second half, and we were never able to capture that momentum back.”
Due to icy road conditions on the bus ride from Nashville, Vandy got to Tuscaloosa at 6:00 a.m. Saturday. For much of the game, it appeared that wouldn’t matter.
Bama out-boarded Vandy 50-35. The Tide bench beat the 'Dores in scoring 36-12. Scoring in double figures were Ar’Mond Davis with 12, and Dazon Ingram and Jimmie Taylor scored 10 each. Davis came off the bench in the second half to spark his team.
Braxton Key had 11 boards to lead Bama while scoring seven points. Ingram had 10 rebounds for a double-double. “Our focus is always to get on the glass, every game,” he said.
A first half that featured two ties and nine lead changes ended tied at 30 despite Alabama runs of 16-2 and 8-0. Each time the Tide built a lead, Vandy answered, usually with the help of 7-footer Luke Kornet, who hurt Bama inside and out in the first stanza. Kornet, whose dad Drew also played for the Commodores, already had 14 of his 15 points at the half. Despite Kornet’s seven boards, Bama out-rebounded the visitors 29-19 in the first 20 minutes.
The second half saw the Crimson Tide allow Vandy to open with a 16-2 run. That streak ended with a rare four-point play by rarely-seen Davis. He and Taylor helped spark a 22-3 Tide run that turned things around.
96 Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE “It was a hard fought game. We had a good lead in the second half,” Kornet said. “They just made some big shots down the stretch, and did a good job of getting on the glass. They outplayed a little bit, and they deserved it.”
Alabama returns to action in Coleman Coliseum Tuesday hosting No. 24 Florida.