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No. 4 Alabama cruises past Vanderbilt behind solid defense

Jan 17, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores guard Jordan Wright (4) dives for a ball against Alabama Crimson Tide guard Jaden Bradley (0) during the first half at Memorial Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Miller poured in 30 points, and No. 4 Alabama used a stout defensive effort to pick up a 78-66 win over Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn., on Tuesday night.

Miller connected on 10 of 16 shots while hauling in 10 rebounds for the Crimson Tide (16-2, 6-0 Southeastern Conference). Jaden Bradley and Noah Gurley each added 12 points.

Alabama shot 43.8 percent from the field while playing smothering defense against the Commodores (9-9, 2-3), who shot just 30.1 percent from the floor and 18.2 percent from beyond the arc.

Tyrin Lawrence led Vanderbilt with 20 points and Jordan Wright added 15. The Commodores were without Liam Robbins, who averages a team-high 13.2 points per game. Myles Stute was held to just three points on 1-of-6 shooting.

The Commodores led 22-21 just past the midway point of the first half, but Alabama put together a 12-0 run to take control. Noah Clowney had four points during the surge, while Miller added a 3-pointer.

After going into the break with a 10-point lead, the Crimson Tide kept their foot on the gas in the second half and took their largest lead of the game at 53-30 when Miller nailed a trey with 12:44 left to play.

The Commodores then went on a 9-0 run, but Rylen Griffin broke it with a 3-pointer with 9:12 left.

Vanderbilt hung around and cut the lead to six with 43 seconds remaining when Wright hit a layup, but Miller made six free throws down the stretch to silence the Commodores’ comeback hopes.

Alabama opened the game on a 13-3 run, getting 3-pointers from Miller and Griffen to help build the early lead. Vanderbilt kept things close throughout the middle portion of the first half, but its 25.6-percent performance from the field through the first 20 minutes of action sent it to halftime trailing 36-26.

This was Alabama’s first game since Darius Miles was charged with capital murder on Sunday.

–Field Level Media