NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Mark Sears scored 21 points, Rylan Griffen added 16 points, and Alabama held on in the final minute to defeat Vanderbilt 78-75 on Saturday in the SEC opener for both teams.

Alabama led 72-67 with 1:18 remaining, then ‘Bama’s Grant Nelson and Vandy's Tyrin Lawrence exchanged layups and Sears added two free throws for a seven-point Alabama lead. Vandy’s Jordan Williams nailed a 3-pointer to get the Commodores within 76-72 with 18 seconds left.

With Alabama leading 77-74 with eight seconds remaining, Griffen, an 82% free-throw shooter, missed the front end of the one-and-one. To take advantage of what was still a three-point lead, Griffen fouled Lawrence, who made his first free throw and missed the second. The foul-me, foul-you sequence continued over the final few seconds and Vanderbilt was unable to get closer than two points.

Latrell Wrightsell Jr. added 11 points for the Crimson Tide (9-5). Alabama shot 49% but the pace of the game kept the Crimson Tide well below their nation-leading average of 92.8 points per game.

Vanderbilt (5-9) was led by Lawrence and Jason Rivera-Torres with 20 points each. Ezra Manjon added 16 points.

Alabama attempted only eight two-point shots in the first half and made six of them. The Crimson Tide had a 15-3 advantage in fast-break points and led 40-36 at the break.

Alabama has a home game against South Carolina on Tuesday. Vanderbilt plays at LSU on Tuesday.

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