Alabama nips Vanderbilt in OT, 77-74

TUSCALOOSA-- Vanderbilt's Shan Foster scored a career high 30 points in a losing effort as Alabama edged Vanderbilt 77-74 in overtime. Dan Cage's 3-point shot rimmed out at the buzzer to allow Alabama prevail after a hard fought game.

Foster's 3-point shot had given Vanderbilt a 68-66 lead with two seconds remaining in regulation. A dunk by Alabama's Alonzo Gee as time expired in regulation tied the score at 68 and sent the game into overtime.

Vanderbilt took an early 71-68 lead in overtime after DeMarre Carroll drilled a 3-point shot. However, the Commodores couldn't maintain the lead after both Carroll and Julian Terrell fouled out later in the OT period.

Trailing by one, 75-74, with less than 30 seconds remaining, Alabama's Felix Jean missed a 3-point shot but the Commodores were unable to get the rebound. Alex Gordon was forced to foul Alabama's Ronald Steele who made two free throws to give his team a three-point lead with 9 seconds remaining. Both Foster and Cage missed 3-point shots in the final seconds to allow Alabama to escape with the win.

Alabama, led by Steele who scored 22 points, took its first lead at 10-8 with 14:18 remaining in the first half. Vanderbilt, which trailed by as much as 10 in the game, retook the lead two more times in first half before going to the locker room trailing 36-31 at the half.

"Our team was very ready to play. I'm proud of them. I hate to continue saying 'We're proud' in the wake of losses but there was absolutely nothing more that they could have done. Our team played as hard as they could play," said a dejected but proud Kevin Stallings whose team has lost four straight.

Other scorers for Vanderbilt included Derrick Byars 13; Dan Cage 9; DeMarre Carroll 9; Alex Gordon 7 and Julian Terrell 6.

The loss dropped a once promising Vanderbilt team to 12-8 (3-6 SEC). Vanderbilt next hosts Kentucky on Saturday. Alabama improves to 13-8 (6-3 SEC) with the win. The Crimson Tide travels to Ole Miss on Saturday.


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