- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 12, 2009

TAMPA, FLA. (AP) - Alonzo Gee scored 25 points and Alabama went 12-for-12 from the foul line in the final 1:03 to hold off Vanderbilt 82-75 Thursday night in the opening round of the Southeastern Conference tournament.

Mikhail Torrance made all eight of his free throws and finished with 20 points as the Crimson Tide (18-13) continued a strong late-season surge and advanced to Friday’s quarterfinals against SEC East co-champion Tennessee.

Gee bounced back from a poor shooting night in Alabama’s 70-67 victory over Tennessee in the regular-season finale to go 9-for-12 from the field and 7-for-8 from the foul line. The Crimson Tide built a 16-point lead, but Brad Tinsley and Jeffery Taylor led a late surge that helped Vanderbilt (19-12) trim its deficit to five in the final minute.

Tinsley led Vanderbilt with 20 points and Taylor had 17 for the Commodores.

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