Road Trip

Arkansas will have its hands full Saturday when the Razorbacks (13-6, 3-3) travel to face No. 19 Vanderbilt (15-4, 3-2) Saturday night in the oldest venue in the SEC.

For the second straight week, Arkansas head coach John Pelphrey and his team got a chance to watch his next opponent play a Thursday night game.

This time it was No. 19 Vanderbilt downing Mississippi State 81-74 at Starkville.

"We became the aggressor and we stayed the aggressor," Vanderbiult head coach Kevin Stallings said.

Now it will be the Razorbacks (13-6, 3-3) tripping to Nashville in hopes of getting a road win against the Commodores (15-4, 3-2) in a 5 p.m. game on Saturday.

"They are just an outstanding basketball team, one of the best in our league and will be a great challenge for us, but we look forward to it," Pelphrey said.

It will be played at Memorial Coliseum, the SEC's oldest basketball arena and one that has the benches at the end of the court instead of the sidelines.

"It's different," Pelphrey said. "I don't have as bad a connotation to it as people might think because you are really, really close to your team in each half. One half is going to be offense, one half defense."

Arkansas suffered a Saturday night massacre last week at Florida with a 75-43 beheading at the hands of the Gators.

They Razorbacks did rebound with a 73-64 home win over Auburn in a contest the Razorbacks led by 24 at one after intermission.

"I am really proud of these guys and how they responded," Pelphrey said. "Now we have to go get one on the road."

Four different Commodores have won the SEC's Player of the Week award with juniors Brad Tinsley, Festus Ezell and Lance Goulborne all being named along with sophomore John Jenkins.

"I consider them a very experienced team at every position," Pelphrey said. "They play very well together from the offensive side of it. They apply pressure to you at all the spots."

Goulborne, a 6-8 forward filling in for injured starter Andre Walker, is the reigning SEC player of the week after averaging 14.5 points and 13.0 rebounds in wins over Ole Miss and St. Mary's.

Jenkins leads the SEC in scoring at 18.7 points per game with that rising to 21.5 in league games only.

"They are as good a shot makers as there are around," Pelphrey said.

Tinsley leads the league in assists while Ezell joins Arkansas' Delvon Johnson as two of the nation's most improved big men. Ezell has gone from averaging 3 points and 3 rebounds a game to 12.6 and 3.6.

The Commodores also have one of the league's best athletes in 6-7 junior forward Jeffrey Taylor, who has started every game of his Vandy career.

Taylor led the way Thursday with 25 points while Jenkins added 21.

"Stud," Mississippi State head coach Rick Stansbury said of Taylor. " He's a player. He's tough. That's why you all talk about him going pro."


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