NASHVILLE, Tenn. The Alabama women’s basketball team (8-21, 1-13 SEC) dropped its regular season finale to No. 23 ranked Vanderbilt (22-7, 11-3 SEC) 83-54 Sunday afternoon in the Memorial Gym. Tierney Jenkins paced the Tide with 15 points.
“I really didn’t think we had a lot of good body language and fight in the first half,” head coach Stephany Smith said. “I know it had to do with 9-of-14 from three for Vanderbilt in the first half. That really cuts your legs out from under you because you’re under so much adversity. When they were able to score in about three seconds and knock down threes, it really affected our offense.”
Merideth Marsh and Ashlee Bridge led the Commodores and all scorers with 16 points apiece.
Varisia Raffington and Caitlin Hollifield gave the Tide solid efforts off the bench as both players finished with double figure points with 11 and 10, respectively.
Courtney Strauthers narrowly missed a double-double, finishing with eight points and a career-high 11 rebounds. Besides leading the team in scoring, Jenkins also came up with a team-high four steals.
Alabama shot 44 percent (22-50) on the game and 29 percent (5-17) from behind the arc. Vanderbilt went 53 percent (34-64) from the floor and 42 percent (10-24) from deep. The Commodores edged the Tide on the boards, out-rebounding Alabama 31-28.
The Tide found itself facing a large deficit at the half as the Commodores pushed the lead to 54-21 going into the break. Vanderbilt used a 22-3 run midway through the frame to break the game open.
Alabama will be the 12th seed heading into the SEC Tournament. Georgia currently sits in the 5th seed and will most likely be the Tide’s opponent in the opening round on Thursday, March 6 at 6:30 p.m. from the Sommet Center.
“We’re going to be facing a team with a great tradition in the University of Georgia,” Smith said. “It’s the same sort of match up as far as tradition of success that we had against Vanderbilt tonight, we’ll have in the first round of the SEC Tournament. All we can do is continue to try to get better and prepare ourselves and prepare our minds and get ready to play on Thursday.”