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BC-BKC--Vanderbilt-Alabama

February 24, 2019
AP Sports Writer

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Kira Lewis Jr. scored 19 points and Alabama survived a big rally in a 68-61 victory Saturday over Vanderbilt, the Commodores’ program-worst 15th consecutive loss.

The Crimson Tide (16-11, 7-7 Southeastern Conference) snapped a comparatively brief three-game skid despite losing most of a 23-point lead over the final 11 minutes.

The Commodores (9-18, 0-14) are now enduring the program’s longest losing streak, topping a previous 14-game stretch of futility that ended in the 1935-36 season.

Lewis made 4 of 8 3-pointers for the Tide. Dazon Ingram had 13 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, while Donta Hall also had a double-double with 14 points and 11 boards.

Simisola Shittu led Vandy with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Aaron Nesmith scored 14 and Yanni Wetzell had 10.

Vandy didn’t break the dubious record quietly. The Commodores scored 15 straight points and cut it to 57-49 on Wetzell’s second straight layup with 5:44 left.

Herbert Jones finally halted the run with a dunk then made one of two free throws and had a steal to set up another basket.

Alabama surged to a 22-point lead in the first half but then didn’t score over the final 3:30. Vandy managed to make it 35-20 by halftime.

Saben Lee, who had 24 points in the first meeting, finished with six points, six assists and four turnovers for Vanderbilt.

BIG PICTURE

Vanderbilt: Heated up and showed resilience even if the comeback fell well short. Shot 55.6 percent (15 of 27) in the second half.

Alabama: Came out with more energy early than in recent games, mounting an 18-2 run after spotting Vandy the first basket. Produced more offense after averaging 57 points in the three losses.

BACK-TO-BACK 3S

Mack made 3-pointers on the Tide’s first two shots. Lewis and Norris both also hit back-to-back 3s, those mini-flurries accounting for the Tide’s first six made long-range shots in the first half.

UP NEXT

Vanderbilt hosts Florida Wednesday night in a rematch of a 66-57 loss on Feb. 13.

Alabama visits South Carolina Tuesday night before two straight home games.