NASHVILLE, TENN – The Crimson Tide returned to winning ways with an 84-65 win over the Vanderbilt Commodores Thursday night at Memorial Gym in Nashville.
Guard Cierra Johnson led the Crimson Tide with 25 points, seven rebounds, and five assists, which was enough to earn Player of the Game honors. Jasmine Walker joined Johnson as the only Crimson Tide players to play over 30 minutes, contributing 16 points and nine rebounds.
The game began with instant action as the Crimson Tide took an 11-10 lead halfway through the first quarter. The Commodores battled back behind the play of freshmen guard Brinae Alexander and took a two-point lead at the end of the first quarter. This would be the Commodores last lead of the game.
The two teams would trade baskets to start off the second and then the Crimson Tide offense started connecting. Megan Abrams began working in the paint scoring four of her 10 points. The Crimson Tide went on a nine-point run before giving up a basket and then would score another six to finish out the half with a 42-27 lead. The Tide shot 54 percent from the field in the first half.
The Crimson Tide dominated the paint as they finished with 32 points in the paint compared to the Commodores 22. As the third quarter began, Ariyah Copeland became more aggressive in the paint, not only scoring but rebounding also. Johnson would then continue what she has been doing all season, taking over the offense drawing fouls and shooting 3-3 from 3-point range.
The Commodores could not handle the Crimson Tide offense and the third quarter would end 63 to 47. The Crimson Tide kicked off the fourth with back to back 3-pointers by Johnson and Shaquera Wade. It was in the fourth quarter the Crimson Tide would take their biggest lead of the night gaining a 27-point lead with 5:21 left in the game.
The Crimson Tide scored 20 points off turnovers, 13 second-chance points and 12 points off the bench. They would finish shooting 52.8 percent from the field and 46.7 percent from 3-point range. The Crimson Tide are now 12-14(4-9 in SEC play) and the Commodores fall to 6-20(1-12 in SEC play).
The Crimson Tide will host Georgia Sunday afternoon at 5 p.m. at the Foster Auditorium and will air live on the SEC Network.