Vandy travels to Bama as SEC hoops play begins - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Vandy travels to Bama as SEC hoops play begins

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(RNN) - SEC basketball's biggest overachiever faces the league's biggest disappointment Tuesday when Vanderbilt visits Alabama.

The game will air at 9 p.m. ET live on ESPNU.

The Crimson Tide is 6-7 after a dreadful December that saw a string of heartbreaking losses to South Florida, Xavier, Wichita State and UCLA.

Bama snapped a 3-game losing streak Saturday with a close, 64-56 win against a bad Robert Morris team. Alabama trailed early, surrendering nine straight points before getting on the scoreboard. But a second-half press forced turnovers and helped wear down the outclassed Colonials, who came to town allowing an average of 80 points per game.

Vanderbilt (8-4) lost winnable nonconference games to Butler (85-77 in OT), Providence (67-60), Texas (70-64) and gave up the last 12 points of the game to lose at home to St. Louis (57-49). It was Vandy's only home loss in seven games.

Eric McClellan is first among three double-figure scorers with 14.3 points per game. Seniors Rod Odom and Kyle Fuller have offered a great deal of leadership. Odom is averaging 13.3 points and a team-leading 5.7 rebounds per game. He is coming off a career high 21 in Vandy's final non-conference tuneup against Northeastern.

Fuller is averaging 9.6 points and leads the team with 48 assists against 30 turnovers.

Damian Jones is averaging 10.3 points per game shooting 60 percent from the floor.

Vandy's Achilles heel is its free-throw shooting – an icy 63 percent.

Alabama's led by Trevor Releford, who is sixth in the SEC in scoring with 18.5 points per game – he's hit 30 of 70 threes this season.

He's a force on defense, averaging more than 2 steals per game, and is also the league's best free throw shooter, hitting 91 percent.

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