Free Throws Hurt Tide In Loss

This isn't what is meant by charity begins at home. Vanderbilt was given way too many opportunities. Free chances. It was appropriate on a night when the Commodores had 20 more free throw opportunities than home-standing Alabama that Vandy would win the game with a free throw in the final seconds.

Alabama led most of the way, but Vanderbilt came from behind in the second half and won the game on a free throw by Jeffrey Taylor with six seconds to play. The Commodores took a 65-64 win over the Crimson Tide in Coleman Coliseum.

A last second shot by Anthony Brock for a chance to win came off the backboard too hard.

Although Alabama had five more field goals and outscored Vandy by nine points from the field, Bama could not overcome the Commodores advantage from the charity stripe. Twenty-four fouls were whistled against Alabama. Vandy made 20-37 free throws to Bama's 10-17.

Alabama fell to 11-5 overall and 1-1 in Southeastern Conference play. Vanderbilt improved to 13-3 and is 2-0 in SEC games.

Alabama is on the road Saturday, playing the Arkansas Razorbacks in Fayetteville beginning at 12:30 p.m. CST. The Crimson Tide returns to Tuscaloosa Tuesday to host Tennessee at 6 p.m. CST.

Alabama Coach Anthony Grant said, "Give Vanderbilt credit. They came out in the second half and imposed their will.

"When we went to the half with a seven-point lead, I was encouraged despite the foul situation."

Grant said turnovers hurt the Tide. Bama had 13 turnovers, Vanderbilt only eight.

The Commodores were led by their stars. Forward Jeffery Taylor and center A.J. Ogilvy had 13 points each and point guard Jermaine Beal 11. John Jenkins came off the bench to score 11 key points, eight of them in the second half.

Mikhail Torrance hit 9-13 from the field, including 4-5 three-pointers, to lead all scorers with 23 points. He also had six assists. Tony Mitchell had 10 points, the only other Tider in double figures.

JaMychal Green hit two key free throws with 35 seconds to play, but overall did not have a good game. He was 2-6 from the field, had only seven points. His 10 rebounds were all defensive. He also had five turnovers. Green played only 20 minutes because of foul problems.

Alabama got off to a blistering pace, scoring the first nine points of the game and finishing the first half with a 35-28 advantage. Bama shot 57.7 per cent in the first half, 15-26 from the field, while holding Vanderbilt to only 36 per cent shooting (9-25).

Bama cooled off considerably in the second half. The Tide shot 37 per cent in the second half and 47.2 per cent (25-53) for the game. Vandy improved its shooting, but was still held to 39.2 per cent for the game (20-51).

Vanderbilt used a combination of man-to-man and zone defense and pressed much of the first half. Alabama pressed early and stayed man throughout. The Commodores were man-to-man until the final couple of minutes in the second half when they went to a zone.

Senario Hillman with nine points, Tony Mitchell (who had three spectacular scores in the game) with eight, and Mikhail Torrance with seven keyed the Alabama first half lead. Hillman did not score in the second half.

Alabama had an eight-point lead (45-37) and the ball with a fast break opportunity, but the ball fell off the rim and Vandy scored the next eight points to tie the game. John Jenkins three-pointer at the 12:02 mark made it 45-45. Seconds later Justin Knox put the Tide back on top with a tip-in.

Jenkins gave Vandy the lead at 51-48 with a three-pointer with just over nine and a half minutes to play. Mikhail Torrance had a chance to tie it with a driving shot on which he was fouled, but he missed the free throw.

A minute later Torrance was fouled again and made both ends of a one-and-one to put the Tide up by 52-51.

Vandy regained the lead at 53-52 with a nice inside drive by Vandy star freshman Jeffery Taylor.

Another pair of Torrance free throws gave Bama the lead at 54-53, but it was tied seconds later with a free throw by Vandy's Andre Walker.

Torrance broke the tie with a nice drive, but that was matched with one by Walker and it was a tie game at 56-56 with just under six minutes to play.

With 5:20 to play, Charvez Davis hit his first basket of the game, a three-pointer that gave Bama a 59-56 lead. Moments later Chris Hines was fouled while rebounding a Vandy miss and made one free throw for a 60-56 lead.

Vandy closed to within a basket on Jermaine Beal's two free throws.

SEC officials enjoy inserting themselves into a close game in the final moments. When Torrance drove for a basket and collided with Vandy star A.J. Ogilvy, who had four fouls, the official called the basket good, then called a foul on Torrance after the shot. That meant Ogilvy stayed in the game to shoot two free throws, while Torrance picked up his fourth foul with 3:18 to play.

Ogilvy made one to cut the lead to 62-59.

Moments later, with 2:56 to play, Ogilvy was at the line again to shoot two, and this time made both. The Tide lead was down to one.

With 2:16 to play Ogilvy was shooting another pair of free throws, but missed both.

With 1:38 another Commodore, Taylor, stepped to the line for two free throws. and made one. The game was tied at 62-62.

After Alabama missed a three-pointer with the shot clock winding down, Vanderbilt's Beal hit a clutch baseline jumper to give the Commodores a 64-62 lead with 46 seconds to play.

When JaMychal Green got the ball in the corner with 35 seconds to play, he was fouled by Vandy's Festus Ezeli. Green, who had made only one of five free throws to that point, made them both to tie the game at 64-64.

With six seconds to play, Tony Mitchell fouled Taylor. Taylor missed the first, but made the second.

After the throw-in, Anthony Brock made a nice drive for a short shot at the basket, but it came off too hard.

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