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Vanderbilt rallies, takes down Alabama in SEC tourney

Vanderbilt rallies, takes down Alabama in SEC tourney

Scotty Pippen Jr. scored a game-high 26 points Thursday night as 11th-seeded rallied from a 15-point deficit in the second half to upset , the sixth seed, 82-76 in the Southeastern Conference tournament in Tampa, Fla.

Myles Stute added 18 for the Commodores (17-15), going 6 of 10 from the 3-point line. Jordan Wright chipped in 13 points and 12 rebounds, and Rodney Chatman tallied all 12 of his points after halftime before fouling out.

Whistles were the game’s main storyline. The officiating crew of Tony Greene, Bart Lenox and Owen Shortt called a whopping 54 fouls and administered 79 free throws, with two players from each team fouling out.

Vanderbilt hit 31 of 45 at the line, and the Crimson Tide made only 20 of 34.

The Commodores advanced to a quarterfinal matchup Friday night with Kentucky, which is ranked fifth in the nation, while Alabama (19-13) awaits a likely bid to the NCAA Tournament despite the early exit.

Jaden Shackelford scored 21 points, going 6 of 16 on 3-pointers, before fouling out. Jahvon Quinerly added 13 before drawing his fifth foul down the stretch.

The Tide made just 24 of 67 field goal attempts, including a brutal 8 of 34 from the 3-point line. That offset their 52-34 rebounding advantage.

Alabama controlled the first half, scoring the first eight points and not allowing Vanderbilt to find any kind of rhythm on offense. The Commodores needed 3:17 to make a basket and connected on six field goals in the half.

Shackelford was the Tide’s main source of offense in the half, sinking 4 of 10 3-pointers. One of them occurred to kick off a 7-1 burst that gave them a game-high 10-point lead at the 8:35 mark.

But Alabama couldn’t put Vanderbilt in a deeper hole, even though two Commodores starters drew three fouls and the other three had two.

The Tide made just 10 of 18 foul shots in the half, while Vandy was 13 of 18, including a make by Pippen that allowed it to head to the locker room down just 38-28.

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