Vanderbilt women explode past Bama, 64-53

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Sophomore guard Dee Davis scored 23 points and No. 19 Vanderbilt overcame a 20-19 deficit at halftime as the Commodores rallied to defeat Alabama, 64-53, Thursday in the regular season home finale on Senior night. Ashley Earley recorded her SEC league-leading 12th double-double as the Commodores (20-6, 9-4 SEC) won their 20th game of the season and assured themselves of a first round bye in next week's SEC Tournament.

Carla Thomas scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds while Caroline Williams finished with 12 points. Vandy outscored Alabama, 45-33, in the second half and shot 58.3 percent in the second half. VU finished the game shooting 39.6 percent. Marverly Nettles led Alabama with 15 points. Monique Bivins scored 12 points and Natasha Gamble had 11 points. Alabama shot 40.7 percent from the field. Vanderbilt controlled the board out-rebounding Bama, 42-30, including puilling down 19 offensive boards.

Vanderbilt last trailed, 31-30 after a jumper from Bivins gave the Crimson Tide the lead with 14:58 remaining in the game. Davis made two free throws giving the Commodores a 32-31 lead with 14:35 left. The Commodores led 39-32 with 12:28 to after Williams hit a three-pointer and Earley made two free throws. Alabama got within, 39-36, at the 11:43 mark after a basket from Nettles, but VU used a 7-0 run to build a 46-36 with 10:11 left. Vandy led 62-49 at the 3:42 mark and the Crimson Tide scored their last field goal with 20 second remaining.

Vanderbilt shot a season-low 24.1 percent in the first half and committed 10 turnovers as Alabama led, 20-19, at the half. After Vandy led 9-8 early, Alabama led by five points twice, 14-9, and 20-15. A jumper from Thomas cut VU's deficit to 20-19 at the half.

With Ole Miss falling at Auburn, the Commodores have locked up one of the top four seeds in next week's SEC Tournament.

Vanderbilt wraps up the regular season when it travels to No. 18 Georgia Sunday for a game that has been moved to 2 p.m. (EST)/1 p.m. (EST) to accommodate ESPN2. The winner of Sunday's game will enter the SEC tournament as the No. 3 seed.

Abi Ramsey and Ashley Earley were honored on Senior Night at Vanderbilt. (VU Photo/ Neil Brake)

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