Dores Fall to Gators

Vanderbilt's run in the 2024 SEC Tournament comes to an end with a 62-59 loss to Florida in the second round

GREENVILLE, S.C. – The Vanderbilt women’s basketball team’s fourth-quarter rally against Florida came up short on Thursday, as the Commodores dropped a 62-59 decision to the Gators in the second round of the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament.

Trailing by as many as 15 points in the second half, Vanderbilt used a late fourth-quarter rally, as the Commodores made it a 60-57 contest with 32 seconds remaining in the game. Graduate student Jordyn Cambridge picked off a Gator pass and found freshman Khamil Pierre for a transition layup to make it a one-point contest at 60-59 with 28 seconds to play.

Vanderbilt sent Florida to the free throw line on the ensuing possession, where the Gators went 1-of-2 to give the Dores the ball back with a chance to tie or take the lead. Vandy missed a layup in the paint and UF grabbed the rebound with 11 seconds remaining. The Gators would once again go 1-of-2 from the charity line to keep hope alive for the Commodores. Vanderbilt got a look from behind the arc to tie the game in the closing seconds, but the final shot fell short, as Florida secured a 62-59 win to advance to the quarterfinals of the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament.

The Commodores got a double-double performance from Pierre and junior Sacha Washington in the loss. Pierre scored 16 points and pulled down a career-high 15 rebounds to post her fourth double-double of the season. Meanwhile, Washington turned in an 11-rebound, 10-point outing against the Gators, as she now has a team-high eight rebounds.

Junior Iyana Moore also registered double-digit points in the loss, as she scored a team-high 20 points. Moore’s performance extend her double-double digit streak to five games, while she has scored double figures in 16 of her last 19 games. It is also Moore’s eighth game this season with 20 or more points.

Vandy shot 38.1 percent from the field, while Florida held a 41.7 percent success rate from the floor. Vanderbilt outrebounded the Gators, 42-32, and forced UF into 19 turnovers. Florida led for 35 minutes of game time on Thursday.

How It Happened
Florida held a 13-7 advantage after a layup at the 4:20 mark, but the Dores responded with a 7-0 run that gave Vandy a 15-14 lead after a Jordyn Oliver layup with 2:03 left to play in the stanza. The Gators rolled off four-straight points to end the frame, as they held a 17-14 advantage.

UF pushed its lead to 20-14 to open the second stanza. Vanderbilt punched back, as an 8-0 run by the Dores gave them a 22-20 lead with 6:30 remaining before halftime. Florida went on a 12-0 run to end the half, as the Gators took a 32-22 lead into the locker room.

The Gators used a 6-1 run to open the third quarter to take a game-high 15-point lead at 40-25 at the 8:23 mark. The Commodores chipped away, as a 9-1 spurt by the Dores made it a 45-40 contest with 1:39 left to play in the frame. Florida ended the third by hitting two consecutive shots that extended Vanderbilt’s deficit back out to 49-40 going into the fourth quarter.

Florida pushed its lead back out to double-digits early in the final quarter and maintained a double-figure advantage at 58-48 with 3:46 left to play. Vanderbilt had one more rally left, as the Commodores scored seven-straight points to make it a 58-55 game after a Pierre putback with 1:42 remaining. With 35 seconds left to play and Vandy trailing 60-57, Cambridge was able to force a steal off a Florida inbound pass and Pierre scored a layup in transition to pull the Dores within a point at 60-59 with 24 seconds left to play.  Florida would go 2-of-4 from the free throw line over the final 20 seconds of the game to keep Vandy’s hopes alive. The Commodores had two chances to tie the game, but Vanderbilt would miss its final two shots of the contest to bring its run in the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament to an end in the second round.

Head Coach Shea Ralph on the Result
“Obviously not happy. Maybe more disappointed with the result today. I don’t think that’s indicative of the season that we’ve had. I think we fought more like ourselves towards the end of the game, but we just ran out of time. Really proud of my team for the season we had. We’re looking forward to playing more basketball in March.”

Up Next
The Commodores will now play the waiting game to see if they will earn an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament. Selection Sunday will take place March 17 at 7 p.m. CT on ESPN.

Dore Notes

  • Iyana Moore registered 20 points to extend her double-digit scoring streak to five games
  • Moore has now scored double figures in 16 of her last 19 games, while she has scored 20 or more points for the eighth time this season
  • Moore went 4of-4 from the free throw line, as she has now hit 28 of her last 29 free throws
  • Khamil Pierre registered her fourth double-double of the season with a 16-point, 15-rebound performance against the Gators
  • Pierre’s 15 caroms set a new career high in rebounds for the forward
  • Pierre tallied double-digit points for the 12th time this season, while it is her fourth game with double-figure rebounds
  • Sacha Washington recorded a double-double for the second-straight game with an 11-rebound, 10-point effort against the Gators
  • It is Washington’s team-leading eighth double-double of the season and the 20th of her career
  • Washington’s 10-point performance marks the 17th time this season she has scored double-digit points in a game
  • Jordyn Cambridge’s four steals moved into ninth place on the SEC women’s basketball all-time steals list with 345 career steals, as she passed Georgia’s Teresa Edwards (342; 1982-86) in tonight’s contest
  • Vanderbilt is now 1-3 all-time at the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament under head coach Shea Ralph

Follow Us
For more information and exclusive content on the Vanderbilt women’s basketball team, follow @VandyWBB on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter/X.