Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

SEC men's basketball tournament: Alabama doesn't let up against Vanderbilt

TAMPA — Alabama entered the SEC tournament on the wave of a last-second upset victory Sunday at Tennessee to end the regular season.

And Thursday, the Crimson Tide kept rolling with an 82-75 opening-round victory over Vanderbilt.

It was fourth-seeded Alabama's fifth triumph in its past five games and snapped a three-game win streak by the fifth-seeded Commodores (19-12). Leading the way was senior forward Alonzo Gee, a Florida native and second-team All-SEC player who scored 25 (including 7-of-8 at the free-throw line) and added six rebounds.

Junior guard Mikhail Torrance constantly set up Gee while contributing 20 points. Their hot hands made the difference as the Tide led from start to finish, advancing to the second round to face Tennessee tonight.

"We talked in terms of this being our championship game against Vanderbilt," interim coach Philip Pearson said. "We prepared for it, and suddenly for us, it's a one-game season. I was very impressed with how our players came out … and got off to a good start."

Alabama (18-13) built leads of 10-2 and 29-17, but Vanderbilt kept fighting back, cutting its deficit to four before heading off at intermission trailing 36-30.

"I thought a real key to the game would be how we would respond in the first three or four or five minutes of the second half," Pearson said. "And I thought our guys did a great job there."

A pair of Gee dunks off Torrance assists helped the Tide take a 45-32 lead, and Gee's jumper with 11:17 left opened Alabama's biggest lead at 56-40.

"His play was great," Gee said of Torrance. "He found me and got me some easy plays."

Vanderbilt star center A.J. Ogilvy scored eight, and play-making guard Jermaine Beal managed five.

Alabama 82

Vandy 75

SEC men's basketball tournament: Alabama doesn't let up against Vanderbilt 03/12/09 [Last modified: Thursday, March 12, 2009 11:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs have chance to beat Vikings in their third stadium


    Here's a cool sign that the Bucs are getting up there as an NFL franchise: If Tampa Bay can win Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, it will mark the first time the Bucs have posted road wins against the same NFL opponent in three different stadiums.

    TIMES ARCHIVES (2012) | Bucs RB Doug Martin runs during Tampa Bay's 36-17 win at the Vikings in 2012, in what was then called Mall of America Field. If Tampa Bay wins Sunday, it will mark the first time they have road wins against the same NFL opponent in three different stadiums.
  2. NFL commissioner, players' union angrily denounce Trump comments on national anthem


    SOMERSET, N.J. — The National Football League and its players' union on Saturday angrily denounced President Donald Trump for suggesting that owners fire players who kneel during the national …

    President Donald Trump walks off the stage after he speaks at campaign rally in support of Sen. Luther Strange, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Huntsville, Ala. [Associated Press]
  3. Matt Peca making case for Lightning spot


    Center Matt Peca said he didn't read too much into the fact he was the only Lightning player to appear in each of the first three exhibition games.

    But Peca, 24, loved it.

    Matt Peca won nine of 10 faceoffs Friday, a skill the Lightning badly needs.
  4. Bucs players respond to Trump comments on anthem protests


    President Donald Trump shared his thoughts Friday night on NFL players protesting during the national anthem, suggesting that NFL owners should "fire" players who kneel during the anthem in protest. His remarks are alreading drawing responses from many NFL players, including some Bucs.

    Bucs players Mike Evans and Jameis Winston stand with coach Dirk Koetter during the national anthem in a game played in San Diego last season.
  5. Rays morning after: Wilson Ramos showing glimpses of what's possible in 2018


    The real payoff for the Rays signing C Wilson Ramos last off-season will come in 2018, when he can play a full season fully recovered from right knee surgery.

    Catcher Wilson Ramos connects for a two-run single in the fifth inning against the Cubs on Sept. 20, 2017.