Alabama drew first blood on a layup by Nikki Hegstetter but a 3-pointer by Rebekah Dahlman followed by a layup by Marquez Webb put the Commodores up 5-2 with 8:02 left in the first period. After a lull in scoring, three consecutive Rachel Bell jumpers put the Dores up 13-9 with 4:26 to play in the first. Back-to-back layups by Webb increased the Commodore lead to 23-13 with 40 seconds to play in the opening quarter. A last second 3-pointer by Alabama’s Meoshonti Knight made the score 23-16 heading into the second period.
In the second period, it looked like Vanderbilt might blow out the Tide as the Commodores built a 14 point lead at 39-25 on a 3-pointer by Christa Reed. Vandy would head to the locker room up 39-28 but few could see the stormy waters that would come in the second half.
The Crimson Tide came out on fire after halftime scoring 11 straight points to tie the game at 39 with 4:10 left in the third. Alabama then took a 41-39 lead on a layup by Knight. Another jumper by Bell tied the score at 41. Later, a driving layup by Minta Spears gave Vandy back the lead at 44-43. A rare Bell air ball ended the third period with Vandy trailing 47-46.
Early in the fourth period, with Vandy still trailing by one at 49-48, Spears drained a crucial 3-pointer to put Vandy back on top 51-49. After two free throws by Spears and a layup by Morgan Batey Vandy led 55-49 with 4:47 to play and fans could breathe a sigh of relief. In a game that nearly got chippy, players from both teams often found themselves thrown to the floor. The Commodores would go on to outscore Alabama 21-5 the fourth stanza and prevailed 67-52.
Bell led all scorers with 23 points. Other Commodores double-digit scorers were Webb with 12 and Batey with 10. Spears finished with 7 points and 4 assists. Vanderbilt shot 45 percent from the field, 45.5 percent from 3-point range, and 66.7 percent from the line. The Commodores outrebounded Alabama 44-24.
Vanderbilt improves to 14-5 (3-3 SEC) while Alabama falls to 13-7 (2-5 SEC). Next up for the Commodores is a trip to Lexington to face the Kentucky Wildcats on Thursday.