Vandy entered the contest versus Alabama on Wednesday night with not one, but two monkeys on their back.
The first is the disappointment felt across Commodore nation resulting from a game-long drought from the three-point line against Tennessee in their last game on Saturday.
This was a drought that ended one of the most cherished traditions to all Vanderbilt fans – a 34-year span which included a made three-point field goal since the installment of the three-point line in 1986.
After missing all 25 attempts from three against the Vols, Vanderbilt fans grew more and more anxious with every missed triple on Wednesday night in Nashville. However, it was after the ninth missed three against the Crimson Tide that Scottie Pippen Jr. was able to bury the first triple in 34 attempts for the ‘Dores.
And just like that, a new streak was born.
Not only did Pippen’s three ignite the crowd in Memorial Gymnasium, but it also sparked a 12-6 Vanderbilt spurt to close the half within an arm’s reach of Alabama, trailing just 37-31.
Although they had begun to close a gap, halftime seemed to come at an inopportune time for Vandy. The energy the ‘Dores manufactured during the first half had all but disappeared after the break as Vanderbilt came out flat on both ends of the floor.
After two field goals from freshman Dylan Disu brought Vandy within four early in the second half, Vanderbilt’s offense disappeared once again. This time for over five and half minutes, contributing to a 14-0 run from Alabama that would lead to an 18-point deficit in the snap of a finger.
And that was enough. Alabama would never let Vandy back in the game for the remainder of the contest, clutching a double-digit lead for the final 15 minutes of the game.
Disu was one of the few bright spots for Vanderbilt as he went for a career high of 21 points in the loss.
“He has a really good stroke. I told him I don’t want to see him turn down any shots,” said Jerry Stackhouse on Disu. “His game will continue to expand as he’s around.”
The Disu Dipsy-Do pic.twitter.com/IJmPe14yMu
— Chad Bishop (@MrChadBishop) January 23, 2020
That brings us to the second monkey.
The second monkey now exists in the form of 23 consecutive losses in conference play. A streak that is just one game shy of tying the longest losing streak in SEC history.
That golden trashcan of an award belongs to Sewanee, which dropped 24 straight SEC games spanning the 1938-1940 seasons.
If Vanderbilt is to snap the daunting string of losses, they have the daunting task of having to do so on the road. The ‘Dores will play next at South Carolina against a 10-8 (2-3) Gamecocks squad.
Should Vandy falter in Columbia, they will travel to Lexington, Kentucky, where John Calipari and his 15th ranked Wildcats will look to push the Vanderbilt basketball program into the record books for one of the worst streaks in SEC history.