34 years ago today, the Vanderbilt Commodores lost to Florida by a 78-66 score. That was Vanderbilt’s eleventh loss in a row, a school record that stood untouched for the last 34 years.
Until tonight, that is. Vanderbilt dropped a home game to Alabama by a 77-67 score, its 11th loss in a row. The 1985 Commodores would squeak by Georgia a few days later to end the skid; this year’s team, with games coming up at Florida, Auburn, at Tennessee, and at Alabama, has no obvious end in sight to the losing. Like the 2019 team, the 1984-85 Commodores suffered due to injuries — with Bobby Westbrooks’ season ending after four games and Will Perdue, later the SEC Player of the Year, missing the entire season.
Of course, the losing streak in 1985 was much more hard luck. Nine of the eleven losses in that streak were by single digits, and none came by more than 17 points. This team has now seen seven double-digit losses in an 11-game stretch, including two by more than 30 points.
It’s hard to make a great argument for this team. They fell behind by 19 points in the second half, then rallied to cut it to five with five minutes to go — but couldn’t get closer than that. The free throw woes continue; in a game decided by ten points, Vanderbilt went 17-of-28 at the foul line. Saben Lee did his best to keep the team in the game with 24 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals, but the rest of the team wasn’t cooperating: Vanderbilt players not named Saben Lee shot a woeful 12-of-39 from the floor.
Baseball season starts Friday. At this point, the basketball team is just trying to avoid becoming the first SEC team to go 0-18 in conference play.