13-seed Vanderbilt downs 12-seed Aggies to advance
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Vanderbilt used a 29-point first quarter, got a triple-double from Jordyn Cambridge and saw four players score in double figures as it beat Texas A&M 84-67 on Wednesday at Bridgestone Arena to advance into the second round of the SEC Tournament.
Brinae Alexander (23) and Iyana Moore (18) led the way offensively for Vandy on Wednesday as that duo combined for 41 points. But it was Cambridge who stole the show with 15 rebounds, 13 points and 10 assists.
It marked the first triple-double in Vanderbilt women's basketball history.
Demi Washington added 12 for Vanderbilt in the win which got an SEC Tournament victory for the first time since 2016. Sacha Washington finished with a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Vanderbilt came out sharp and was up 7-2 on the strength of a Moore three-point play. The freshman's triple one possession later put the Commodores ahead 10-4.
Yaubryon Chambers connected on a three-point play to put Vandy ahead 15-6. That was followed by another Sacha Washington bucket in the lane giving Vandy an 11-point advantage.
Vanderbilt's offensive barrage wouldn't let up as the Commodores ended the period on a 12-2 run, capped by a Moore 3-pointer. Moore finished with 14 points in the first quarter alone as Vandy took a 29-10 lead into the second period.
A scoring drought of almost five minutes started Vanderbilt's second quarter. But Demi Washington's layup with 4:11 to go in the half still had Vandy up 35-19.
The Commodores went into the break up 44-26 despite being outscored by a point in the second period. But they forced 13 Texas A&M turnovers and held the Aggies to a 1 of 8 shooting clip from distance.
A pair of Alexander triples early in the third quarter allowed Vanderbilt to enjoy a 52-32 lead. Sacha Washington's three-point play later in the period made it a 58-41 game.
Texas A&M cut the deficit to 58-46 going into the final period and quickly got within nine on the fourth-quarter's first shot, a made 3-pointer by Destiny Pitts. Another Pitts triple shortly after that made it a 60-54 game.
The Aggies wouldn't get any closer.
Pitts led Texas A&M with 24. The Aggies ended their season at 14-15.
• The 29 points in the first quarter for Vanderbilt on Wednesday was a season high and tied for the fifth-most in a single quarter in SEC Tournament history.
• The Commodores had lost four straight SEC Tournament with their last win coming in the 2016 event where they went 3-1 in Jacksonville, Florida. Vanderbilt did not participate in the 2021 SEC Tournament.
• Vanderbilt is now 5-9 all-time against Texas A&M and had lost eight straight in a series that dates to 1996. Vandy had last beat the Aggies in 2014.
• Cambridge has tied Cathy Bender (111) and needs one steal to move past Karen Booker (112) for second place in Vandy history for steals in a single season. Deborah Denton is first with 123.
• Cambridge now has 218 career steals, tying Rhonda Blades for the ninth-most in a Vanderbilt career.
• Vandy head coach Shea Ralph now has for the third-most wins (14). Stephanie White also won 14, Joe Pepper won 15 and Jim Foster and Melanie Balcomb each won 22 in their respective first campaigns.
The Commodores (14-17) next face Florida (20-9) at 2:30 p.m. Thursday.