Jordyn Cambridge

Photo Courtesy of Vanderbilt Athletics 

It was a Nashville affair through and through on Wednesday morning in Bridgestone Arena as former Ensworth star Jordyn Cambridge led the No. 13 Vanderbilt (14-17) women’s basketball team to an 85-69 victory over No. 12 Texas A&M (14-15) in the first round of the SEC Tournament. 

“We’re not planning on going home anytime soon, even though it’s right down the road,” Vanderbilt women’s basketball head coach Shea Ralph said. 

Cambridge compiled the first triple-double in program history in the win, notching 13 points, a team-high 15 rebounds, and a team-best 10 assists, with four steals for extra measure. 

“I have a personal attachment to her story, understanding how hard it is to come back from the injuries that she’s sustained,” Ralph said. “And to play the way she plays lets you know how much she loves the game of basketball. It’s hard to not root for a kid like that. I have to make her not practice so she can be ready for us to play games.” 

Cambridge, a senior,  has had three knee surgeries since her junior year of high school as a result of ACL tears in both of her knees. 

“She does everything she’s supposed to do. You don’t even see the things behind the scenes,” Ralph said.

“You see her on the basketball court; you have no idea what it takes for her to be out there every day. This kid loves to play. She is soaking up every second. Anytime you can witness somebody like that do something special, that’s a piece of history I want to be a part of.” 

The Commodores rode an early hot streak to a 29-10 lead at the end of the first quarter that the Aggies were never able to overcome, thanks in part to an 8-19 mark from three-point range. 

“I think that right now, we’re peaking at the right time,” Ralph said. “You want to be playing the best basketball in March. This team did something special today. You could feel it on the court.” 

Former Riverdale product Brinae Alexander led the team in scoring, pouring in 23 points on 8-19 from the field (5-9 from deep) and added six assists and four steals. Forman Blackman guard Iyana Moore contributed 18 points, six rebounds, and four assists. 

“When we do everything right, when we really buy in to our energy and effort and togetherness, everything works out,” Alexander said. 

The Commodores swarmed Texas A&M on defense, holding the Aggies to 37 percent shooting from the field (22-59) and a paltry 24 percent from behind the arc (4-17). 

“The point was making sure we got them to do what we wanted them to do when we were playing defense, and we got everything we wanted on offense,” Ralph said. “And I feel like that’s how the game ended. So that was a big moment of growth for our team. 

The next matchup for Vanderbilt will be a little more challenging. They advance to the second round where they will face No. 5 Florida (20-9) at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday.