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January 7, 2014

Vandy falls in Southeastern Conference opener

A short-handed Vanderbilt team rallied valiantly, but couldn't overcome a double-digit deficit in a 68-63 loss at Alabama on Tuesday night.

Rod Odom had 20 points and 10 rebounds, Damian Jones added 16 points, and Kyle Fuller, 15, for the Commodores (8-5), who played each of those players 38 minutes each.

Depth forced the Commodores into a zone early in the evening, and VU stayed within a point with under four minutes left in the first half. But 'Bama went on an 8-0 run, and eventually led 36-26 at the break.

Alabama's Levi Randolph hit a jumper with 16:25 left to extend the lead to 46-30.

The Commodores couldn't get within 10 until Odom hit a 3 at 5:24 to cut the margin to nine. When Odom hit two free throws at 2:24, it was down to 63-60.

But when Alabama's Retin Obasohan hit a 3 with the shot clock running down at the 1:27 mark, that sealed VU's fate.

The Commodores were without Eric McClellan, who is not with the team due to an off-court matter. That pressed walk-on Carter Josephs, who played two minutes, into action.

Vandy returns home to face nationally-ranked Kentucky on Saturday.

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