Vanderbilt women’s basketball had a great run, winning its first SEC Tournament game in six years on Wednesday and then leading Florida for most of the game Thursday. But playing its second game in two days after beating Texas A&M the day before, the Commodores simply ran out of gas in the end, falling 53-52 after the Gators made two late free throws.
Despite a 12-0 lead to start the game, the Commodores couldn’t hang on in the fourth quarter against a much fresher Florida. The teams played a week ago, with Vanderbilt causing an upset at Memorial Gymnasium.
The Commodores led by nine after the third quarter, but Florida shot less than one. With 11 seconds left, Vanderbilt was called for a foul that gave the Gators the game-winning free throws. Florida never led until the final seconds.
The Gators’ Nina Rickards, who sank the final free throws, scored 15 points.
Florida will face Ole Miss on Friday around 2:30 p.m. CT.
Quick start for Vanderbilt
Like Wednesday, Vanderbilt got off to a good start scoring the game’s first 12 points. Three-pointers from Brinae Alexander and Iyana Moore started the run as Florida struggled to find the basket.
Unlike Wednesday, however, the Commodores didn’t hold their own so easily. The Gators finished the first quarter on an 8-0 run to cut the lead to four, then tied the game in the second quarter. Iyana Moore, who missed the second half of the first quarter with two fouls, returned for the second quarter, sparking a 6-0 run before halftime that coincided with a 2½-minute drought in Florida.
Neither team was able to score consistently, with several minutes running out. Fullback Jordyn Cambridge, who had a triple-double the day before, and fullback De’Mauri Flournoy mostly took a lot of shots but struggled to finish them. Vanderbilt shot just 9 for 24 on layups.
Cambridge scored just four points and were 1 for 11 from the field. Flournoy scored zero points on seven shots.
Moore, with 16 points, and Brinae Alexander, with 18 points, led Vanderbilt in scoring.