Vanderbilt freshman guard Saben Lee scored 23 points, as the Commodores beat Alabama, 76-75, at Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville, Tenn., on Tuesday evening.
The defeat spoiled a terrific effort from Alabama freshman Collin Sexton, who had a game-high 24 points. Center Donta Hall scored 14 and hit all six of his field goal attempts.
Vanderbilt (6-8) also got double-figures from forward Jeff Roberson (17) and guards Matthew Fisher-Davis (11) and Riley LaChance (10).
Lee had 16 in the first half, then put the Commodores up 74-65, weaving his way for a nifty layup through traffic with 1:41 left.
But the Crimson Tide cranked up the pressure and got three steals leading to six points from there.
Alabama nearly got a fourth, but a pass from LaChance somehow rolled its way to center Djery Baptiste on the left block. The sophomore laid it in with 18 seconds left, putting Vandy up by three.
Leading by 10 at the half, Vanderbilt quickly extended its advantage to 15 on LaChance’s step-back 3 and Roberson’s layup off a fast break.
But Alabama roared back when forward Braxton Key, playing in his home city, drove the right side for a layup that cut the lead to 63-59 with 8:43 left.
Vanderbilt never trailed in the second half, but never got the lead in double figures from there.
Vanderbilt took its first lead of the first half when Fisher-Davis hit back-to-back 3s to put the Commodores up 18-13.
Alabama trailed by eight, then Sexton drove through traffic and hit a layup with 4:39 left to tie it at 31 at the end of a Tide run.
That’s when Lee took over the remainder of the half, scoring the game’s next 12 points off a pair of layups, two 3-pointers and two foul shots.
Fisher-Davis, who has started eight games and ranks third on the team in minutes, suffered from the flu and missed shootaround.
This was just the second true road game of the season for Alabama.
The Crimson Tide, who came in shooting 67.3 percent from the free throw line, hit 86.4 percent.
--Field Level Media