The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Vanderbilt suffers collapse to Alabama 74-66

The Commodores were outscored in the second half by Alabama 50-33 on Monday night.
Vanderbilt+players+huddling+in+their+game+against+Alabama%2C+as+photographed+on+Feb.+5%2C+2024.+%28Hustler+Multimedia%2FMichael+Tung%29
Michael Tung
Vanderbilt players huddling in their game against Alabama, as photographed on Feb. 5, 2024. (Hustler Multimedia/Michael Tung)

The Vanderbilt Commodores (17-6, 4-5) lost their fourth consecutive game when they lost to the Alabama Crimson Tide (18-6, 5-4) 74-66 on Monday evening. The Commodores had no answer for Alabama’s Sarah Ashlee Barker, who notched 24 points and 9 rebounds.

Ashlee Barker was going to do what she wanted to do,” head coach Shea Ralph said. 

Ralph elected to start Jordyn Cambridge, Jordyn Oliver, Iyana Moore, Justine Pissott and Sacha Washington. Washington and Moore led Vanderbilt in scoring with 16 points, respectively.

The game started with Alabama’s Aaliyah Nye scoring a mid-range jumper 76 seconds after the tip. Moore responded soon after, with a 3-pointer to give Vanderbilt a 3-2 lead. Alabama countered the 3-ball with a 7-0 run, which was sparked by five points from Loyal Mcqueen and two points from Barker.

Down 9-3 midway through the first quarter, Vanderbilt fought back and tied the game up at nine apiece when Moore and Aga Makurat both made 3-pointers. Alabama would take a 16-12 lead going into the second quarter.

Alabama’s lead quickly subsided, though, as Vanderbilt went on a 10-0 run and disallowed Alabama from scoring a  basket in the second quarter until there was 4:30 remaining in the period. After Vanderbilt and Alabama traded three total scoreless possessions, Pissot knocked in a 3-pointer off of a Washington assist to put Vanderbilt ahead 25-18. The rest of the quarter was marked by a made layup from Washington and four combined 3-pointers from Moore and Nye. 

Vanderbilt went into the halftime break with a 33-24 lead after outscoring the Crimson Tide 21-8 in the second quarter.

The third quarter was marked by the two SEC foes trading almost every possession until Alabama inched closer to Vanderbilt in the final minute of the quarter. Trailing Vanderbilt 52-44, Barker made a layup before the end of the quarter to put the Crimson Tide down 52-46. Barker scored 15 of Alabama’s 22 points in the third quarter.

Vanderbilt’s six-point cushion vanished quickly into the fourth quarter. With just over 7:30 remaining in the fourth quarter, Alabama and Vanderbilt were tied, 54-54. Barker built off the momentum and provided the Crimson Tide with their first lead of the second half when she made a free throw to put the Crimson Tide up one point with 7:07 remaining in the game.

Nye extended Alabama’s lead to four points a few moments later when she knocked in a silencing 3-ball with just over six minutes remaining in the game. With an opportunity to end Alabama’s 12-0 run, Pierre had two chances at the charity stripe. She missed both shots and Alabama extended its run to 14-0 on the next possession. Pissot responded right away and provided Vanderbilt with a much-needed spark when she made a 3-pointer with 5:22 remaining in the game. Pissot’s 3-pointer ended Vanderbilt’s 256-second scoring drought. Vanderbilt now trailed Alabama 60-57.

“We had some miscommunication on defense [and] gave up a couple of wide-open layups,” Ralph said. “When we had a couple of bad calls not go our way, you can see the wind getting taken out of our sails and that’s what can’t happen.”

Vanderbilt remained down three points until Nye made a shot from beyond the arc with just under four minutes remaining. Despite making an effort to climb back, Vanderbilt was unable to regain its lead. Alabama outscored Vanderbilt 28-14 in the fourth quarter.

“We can’t play a second half like we played today and think we can win any games left on our schedule,” Ralph said.

The Commodores will return to the hardwood with a home matchup against the No. 13 LSU Tigers on Feb. 8 at 8 p.m. CST. 

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About the Contributors
Andrew Wilf
Andrew Wilf, Former Sports Editor
Andrew Wilf (’24) is Sports Editor for The Vanderbilt Hustler. He is from Livingston, N.J., and is majoring in history and minoring in business. He joined the sports staff his freshman year, previously serving as a Staff Writer, Assistant Sports Editor and Deputy Sports Editor. Beyond writing for The Hustler, he is also the host of Anchor Analysis, Commodore Clash and Live From West End. In his free time, Andrew enjoys watching the NFL and playing golf. He can be reached at [email protected].
Michael Tung
Michael Tung, Staff Photographer
Michael Tung ('26) is majoring in computer science. He is currently a staff photographer and is originally from Dublin, Ohio. His interests are photography, engineering, all things aerospace and music. He can be reached at [email protected]
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