Final - OT
  for this game

Riley leads Alabama over Vandy

Mar 9, 2008 - 1:01 AM TUSCALOOSA, Alabama (Ticker) -- Mykal Riley made his final home game a memorable one.

The senior guard scored Alabama's first 13 points in overtime as the Crimson Tide upset 16th-ranked Vanderbilt, 78-73, on Saturday in the Southeastern Conference regular-season finale for both teams.

Riley dominated on both ends of the court during the extra session, finishing with 26 points and 10 rebounds. His outburst in the overtime including three 3-pointers.

"Today is a new No. 1 memory for me," said Riley, who was playing his final game at Coleman Coliseum. "We were able to make a lot of defensive stops toward the end today."

Riley's performance helped Alabama (16-15, 5-11 SEC West) end a disappointing regular season on a positive note, while Vanderbilt suffered a costly defeat.

"In overtime they just got a lot better looks than we did," Vanderbilt freshman A.J. Ogilvy said. "They made some key shots. If someone scores 13 points in overtime, it's pretty hard to try and keep up."

The loss ended the Commodores' hopes of a first-round bye in the SEC tournament as Vanderbilt (25-6, 10-6 East) settled for a third-place finish in the SEC East.

"The difference in the game obviously was what Riley was able to do in overtime," Commodores coach Kevin Stallings said. "He was fantastic. We had our chances but mentally we were not in the mindset to win today."

"You've got to give him (Riley) credit," Vanderbilt forward Ross Neltner added. "He's got one of the purest strokes in the league. We got to see it tonight."

Trailing for most of the game, the Commodores forced overtime on a three-point play by Ogilvy that tied the contest 62-62 with 20 seconds left. But they had no answers for Riley in the overtime. His two free throws made it 75-66 with 44 seconds remaining.

"Our team has played hard all year long," Alabama coach Mark Gottfried said. "Our guys played really hard today. They always do. Their attitude also has been great and that contributed to our win today. This was a great team win for us."

Shan Foster scored 21 points for Vanderbilt but the senior guard did not dominate as he did on Wednesday, when he recorded a career-high 42 points in an 86-85 overtime win over Mississippi State.

Foster hit his final nine 3-point attempts in that contest, including the game-winner with 2.7 seconds remaining as the Commodores won their final home game of the season in dramatic fashion.

But the emotionally draining victory seemed to take a toll as Foster registered only five points in the first half against Alabama, which opened a 38-30 lead at the intermission.

"The best thing we have going for us is our team attitude and today that wasn't our strength," Stallings added. "We deserved to get beat and hopefully it will be good for us."

Alabama scored the first basket of the second half before Vanderbilt battled back to take a 50-46 lead on Foster's two free throws with 7:56 remaining.

Alonzo Gee scored eight of his 16 points over the next six minutes, including a pair from the line that staked the Crimson Tide to a 62-57 advantage with 1:45 remaining.

After Andre Walker's layup pulled Vanderbilt within 62-59 with 1:22 left, Ogilvy blocked a shot by Brandon Hollinger, then got free for a breakaway layup on which he was fouled.

After Ogilvy, who scored 17 points, tied it from the line, Demetrius Jamison tossed up an air ball for Alabama with eight-tenths of a second remaining.

Vanderbilt almost pulled out a miraculous win in regulation as Ogilvy caught a length-of-the-court pass before his off-balanced layup missed the mark at the buzzer.

The Commodores scored the first points of the overtime on Foster's steal and layup, but Riley's 3-pointer put the Crimson Tide ahead for good, 65-64, with four minutes left.

"We played good defense," Riley added. "We contested shots and then we were able to make some plays on the offensive end."

Richard Hendrix also recorded a double-double for Alabama, registering 12 points and 11 rebounds despite playing with a sore ankle.

The loss prevented Vanderbilt from setting a school record for regular-season wins. The Commodores also won 25 games during the regular season in 1992-93.