For a brief moment, Vanderbilt looked like it would be involved in a tussle on Thursday night.
Suddenly, that possibility vanished.
The Commodores dominated the final six minutes of the opening half and never looked back in a 69-59 victory at Alabama.
Trailing by as many as six in the first half, Vanderbilt seized the lead and momentum with a 15-2 run to take a seven-point lead into halftime. The Commodores (14-4, 4-0 SEC) cruised to a 23-point lead in the second half and extended their winning streak to eight games.
They also keep pace with No. 2 Kentucky (18-1, 4-0) atop the league standings.
Four VU players scored in double figures led by John Jenkins with 20 points. He also grabbed a career-high eight rebounds as the Commodores dominated on the boards. They out-rebounded Alabama 48-35 and turned 13 offensive rebound into 16 second-chance points.
Jeffery Taylor added 17 points, Festus Ezeli scored 12 and grabbed a season-high 10 rebounds and Lance Goulbourne scored 11 points.
Stingy defense was again the key for Vanderbilt. Alabama (13-5, 2-2) scored just 19 points in the first half on 29.5 percent shooting from the field. The Crimson Tide shot just 32.9 percent for the game and 25 percent (6-of-24) from 3-point range.
Alabama’s leading scorer Tony Mitchell (14.5 ppg) did not score, missing all eight attempts from the field. The Tide’s second-leading scorer, JaMychal Green, had just six points. Guard Trevor Releford had a team-high 14 points.
On the flip side, the league’s top scoring defense (55.7) couldn’t slow down Vanderbilt. The Commodores scored 58 points through the first 32 minutes before putting in their reserves. Adding to the Tide’s frustration, head coach Anthony Grant received a technical foul with 12:04 left.
The Commodores will try to stay unbeaten in SEC action when they welcome in No. 18 Mississippi State (15-4, 2-2) to Memorial Gymnasium on Saturday (6 p.m., ESPN or ESPN2).