VU WBB: Vanderbilt downs Alabama in SECT

Playing like a team that didn't want the season to end, Vanderbilt defeated Alabama 66-56 in the first round of the SEC Tournament in Little Rock, Arkansas.

It's been a long time since Vanderbilt has been in the position that every SEC Tournament game might be the last game of the season. But that's the position that Vanderbilt faces now, and on Wednesday night it looked like the team didn't want the season to end quite yet.

In the first few minutes of the game, Alabama took an early 7-2 lead, but that's as good as it got for the Crimson Tide. A 3-pointer by Rebekah Dahlman followed by a steal and fastbreak layup by Paris Kea tied the game at 7-7, and Vanderbilt never trailed after that.

That's not to say that it was easy, however. Each time it looked like Vanderbilt might put the game away early, Alabama answered. With 8:49 left in the first half, Vanderbilt led by 11 points, but by the end of the half, the Vanderbilt lead had shrunk to just two points at 26-24.

In the first few minutes of the second half, the Crimson Tide tied the game at 26-26 and then again at 28-28. But Vanderbilt took the lead for good on a rare 4-point play by Dahlman, and after that the Dores very slowly pulled away, fending off every Alabama attempt to close the gap.

Finally, when a fastbreak layup by Kea gave Vanderbilt a 10-point lead at 62-52 with 2:59 left in the game, the Vanderbilt fans who had braved the wintry weather to attend the game began to breathe a little easier. Then Kea and Marqu'es Webb put the final daggers in the Alabama heart by knocking down four straight free throws to give the Dores a 12-point lead at 66-54 with one minute left to seal the Vanderbilt victory.

With the victory, Vanderbilt advances to play the #6-seeded Kentucky Wildcats in the final game on Thursday. In response to adverse weather conditions in Little Rock, the SEC has altered the usual Thursday schedule. Instead of two sessions of two games each, all four games will be played in a single session without a break beginning at noon. Vanderbilt's game with Kentucky is expected to begin at approximately 7:30 CT.


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Jasmine Jenkins



Rebekah Dahlman



Paris Kea



Paris Kea



Morgan Batey



Rayte'a Long



Rebekah Dahlman



Marqu'es Webb



Morgan Batey



Marqu'es Webb



Marqu'es Webb



Rayte'a Long



Marqu'es Webb



Marqu'es Webb



Paris Kea



Jasmine Jenkins


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Photos copyright 2015 by Whitney D. for VandyMania.com



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