NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Alabama men’s basketball team earned its first road win against a Southeastern Conference foe, as it captured a 77-62 victory at Vanderbilt on Wednesday night. The 15-point margin of victory was the largest inside Memorial Gymnasium since 1985 and the second-largest win margin at Vanderbilt in series history.
Junior guard John Petty Jr. led the team with a stand out performance, finishing with 23 points and 10 rebounds to earn his fourth double-double of the season. In the process, the Huntsville, Ala., native collected his 1,000th career point (1,016) to become the 51st Alabama player in program history to achieve the feat and the 32nd to do so in just three years.
Sophomore Kira Lewis Jr. scored 16 to go along with seven rebounds and five assists for the Crimson Tide (11-7, 4-2 SEC) who captured the program’s third straight win over Vandy in the series – the first time that’s occurred since winning seven straight from 1984-87. Freshman Jaden Shackelford finished with 15 points and seven rebounds, while junior Herbert Jones added 10 points, five rebounds and five assists without a turnover.
It marked Alabama’s third consecutive win, the team’s fourth victory over its last five games and the ninth win over the last 12.
Vanderbilt (8-10, 0-5) was led by Dylan Disu’s 21 points, as well as Saben Lee who earned 19 points and a game-high 4 steals.
Coach Nate Oats Postgame Comments
“It was nice to get a road win. I didn’t think we played that well, especially on offense with all the turnovers. We needed to get a road win. I know Vanderbilt is a little bit depleted with all the injuries, but I thought their kids played hard. For a team that is depleted as them and doesn’t have a lot of depth, they forced us into 25 turnovers, so give them credit. We played hard enough to get the win, but I don’t think we played that smart. We have to take care of the ball better. They struggled to shoot it, and I thought we gave them some open shots that they just missed. I think (Vanderbilt head coach) Jerry (Stackhouse) is doing a good job with the guys he’s got. It is unfortunate that the last two years they’ve had their best player go down with an injury and they have struggled to make shots. It doesn’t matter what offense you run, and I think he’s running a pretty good offense, it is not going to look good if you aren’t making shots. I liked our effort on the glass, if we hadn’t rebounded as well as we did, they still got 13 more shot attempts up than we did. We didn’t shoot it particularly well at the free-throw line where they did. We’ve got plenty of areas to improve on before our game against Kansas State on Saturday. But it was nice to get a road win. Conference road wins are big and we needed that.”
- Alabama won the rebounding battle by +19, 51-32, to record the Crimson Tide’s largest rebounding margin and most rebounds on the season
- John Petty registered his fourth double-double of the season with his 23 points and 10 rebounds
- Herbert Jones earned his fourth consecutive double-digit scoring game
- The Crimson Tide never trailed throughout the contest, getting off to an early lead right out of the gate, marking the second time in three games that UA has led wire-to-wire
- Over the last three games combined, the Tide has trailed for just 3:14
- Alabama improved to 11-0 this season when shooting a higher field goal percentage than the opposition
- With his charge drawn late in the contest, Shackelford earned the team’s Hard Hat Award – his second of the season
- Alabama made three of its first four attempts from deep to get out to an 11-4 lead at the 16:26 mark
- The Commodores responded with an 11-4 run of their own to cut the Tide’s lead to 15-11 with 12:54 to play in the first
- Petty drilled a triple, his fourth in as many attempts, to extend Alabama’s advantage to 24-15 with 9:32 to go in the opening stanza
- A three-pointer by Vanderbilt with just 2:06 to play in the half capped a 13-5 run and cut the Tide’s lead to 32-30
- The Crimson Tide ended the half by scoring five of the final six points to take a 37-31 lead into halftime
- Petty led all scorers with 17 points on 5-of-7 shooting from beyond-the-arc
- Vanderbilt cut Alabama’s lead to 39-35, but Alabama responded with a 14-0 surge to extend its lead to 53-35 with 13:23 remaining in the game
- The run spanned 3:32 of game time and Lewis accounted for all 14 points during the run – scoring eight and assisting on a pair of Beetle Bolden three-pointers
- Alabama held the Commodores at bay for the majority of the second half and led by as many as 21 points (66-45) with 5:42 remaining
- Vanderbilt fought back and managed to trim the lead to 11 with 46 seconds left, however, the Tide scored the game’s final four points to result in the final score
Alabama will return to action on Saturday evening as it plays its final non-conference game of the season when it takes on Kansas State as part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge. Tipoff is slated for 5 p.m. CT and will be televised on ESPN2.
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