Vandy aims for upset of ‘Bama
Nashville, TN (Sports Network) – The Vanderbilt Commodores hope to thrill the
Nashville crowd with an upset of the 10th-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide this
evening in an SEC tilt.
Alabama opened league play with an ugly 88-61 loss to Arkansas, but the club
was able to rebound for a 71-61 decision over LSU in the next outing. It has
been eight days since that most recent contest, and Alabama is undoubtedly
eager to improve on its outstanding 14-2 overall record. On a down note, the
Tide enters tonight’s clash with a 1-2 mark in true road games.
Vanderbilt, which is 8-2 at home, owns a solid 11-6 overall record, but the
team has only one win in three conference games thus far. On Saturday, the
Commodores dropped an 85-73 decision to Georgia on the road.
Alabama holds a 65-59 edge in the all-time series with Vanderbilt, but the
Commodores have won the last eight meetings at home.
The Crimson Tide is scoring 77.9 ppg this season on 48.3 percent shooting from
the floor, including 39.3 percent accuracy from three-point range. Defensively,
the squad is limiting its opponents to 63.4 ppg on 37.3 percent shooting from
the field. Richard Hendrix leads a balanced offensive attack with 14.9 ppg, and
he is ripping down 8.8 rpg. Alonzo Gee is close behind offensively with 14.8
ppg, and Jermareo Davidson accounts for 13.9 ppg, 9.4 rpg and 3.2 bpg. Mykal
Riley (12.3 ppg) and Ronald Steele (10.5 ppg) round out the team’s tremendously
talented group of scorers. Hendix tallied 18 points in the win over LSU, and
Gee managed 15 points. Riley and Davidson posted 12 points apiece, and Davidson
also secured 12 rebounds. Strong defense was undoubtedly the key to that win,
as ‘Bama limited the Tigers to 35.7 percent shooting from the field.
Vanderbilt connected on only 38.6 percent of its field goal attempts in the
loss to Georgia, and the Commodores scored only six points from the foul line
in the contest. They also suffered a 43-33 rebounding disadvantage and
permitted the Bulldogs to shoot 55.2 percent from the floor. Derrick Byars led
the team with 23 points in defeat, and Dan Cage pitched in 17 points for Vandy.
As for Shan Foster, he was limited to 3-of-13 shooting from the floor,
including an 0-of-5 effort from three-point range. Byars holds the team scoring
lead with 15.1 ppg, and Foster is close behind with 14.8 ppg. Cage has been a
solid offensive contributor as well, as he is netting 11.5 ppg on 43.5 percent
shooting from behind the arc. The Commodores are averaging 78.6 ppg while
allowing 69.5 ppg to their opponents.