Vanishing Magic

Fresh off a big-time home win over No. 2 Florida, Arkansas (14-8, 5-4) tries to keep its momentum going with its first road this season as it visits Vanderbilt (8-13, 2-7), who has had its home issues this season.

It's a team that hasn't been able to win on the road this season against one that is having trouble winning anywhere – even in its vaunted home arena that used to have Magic.

  Not necessarily your dream match-up but it is what it is when Arkansas (14-8, 5-4) visits Vanderbilt (8-13, 2-7) Saturday afternoon for a 12:47 p.m. game at Memorial Coliseum in Nashville.

  The Razorbacks are 14-1 at home this season, but have not won a game on the road this season while the Commodores have lost four straight games and amazingly three of its last four games at a place said to have Memorial Magic.

  ""I want to see us take the right mindset on the road," Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson said. "Can we go out and execute with that mindset knowing that defense is going to be the key for our basketball team? I would think so. We'll see."

  The Razorbacks certainly did that Tuesday when they hammered No. 2 Florida 80-69 in a game in which they led by 27 points at one time.

  Anderson is dead set on not letting Arkansas's players feel too good about that win for too long as they head to a place they are 4-6 in the last 10 years..

  ""That will be my job," Anderson said. "They've gotten some pats on the back, but that's one game. We'll try and bring them back down to earth."

  Razorback freshman Michael Qualls, who has started the last two games and averaged nine points and seven rebounds, knows full well that his team has something left to prove to itself.

  "We've got to prove something to ourselves," Qualls said. "That we can get it done."

  Arkansas sophomore guard B.J. Young said there are no pleasure in just being a team that can win at home.

  "I wouldn't even want a standing ovation in class until we get a road win," Young said . "We expect to win at home, and we got a big win over Florida. Now we need to move onto the next game and get a win on the road."

  Arkansas beat Vanderbilt 56-33 last month in Fayetteville in a game in which the visitors scored an arena- low 11 points in the opening half.

  "They are really good defensively," Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings  said of Arkansas. "They try to keep you unsettled, spread out and disorganized and rushed and things like that. We are just going to have to do a much better job than we did in the first game with our ball care and our attention to detail on offense. We were very sped up and unsettled at their place."

  The Commodores lost their last home game when Alabama downed them 58-54 in Nashville and that left Stallings perplexed.

  "I thought we were going to win, and the problem is I think I'm the only one that does," Stallings said. "We have guys that play not to lose. We have too many guys that don't want what goes on at the end of a game. They're not ready for it yet, apparently. That's disappointing because at this point in your life, you should be."

  LSU beat Vanderbilt in Baton Rouge 57-56 for their fourth straight loss and their seventh in nine games since opening SEC play with a 60-58 home loss to Kentucky.

  "They are very talented, very speedy," Stallings said. "Their speed is significant, probably as good a quickness from top to bottom in the rotation as any team in the league. I am never surprised when they win at their place. They have been a very good home team for a long time. That didn't surprise me."

  Memorial Coliseum is one of the most unique places to play in college basketball as the benches are on the ends of the court instead of the sideline.

"We're not too worried about where the bench is at," Young said. "As long as they have two hoops and a ball we should be OK."

  Stallings and his program won the SEC Tournament last season, but had to completely rebuild this season.

They are a woeful 330th in the country in scoring at 59 points per game shooting just 40 percent from the field and 60 percent from the free throw line.

Vanderbilt has one scorer in double figures in 6-4, 215-pound sophomore guard Kedren Johnson (14.9) while 6-1 junior guard Kyle Fuller (9.7) and 6-9 junior forward Rod Odom (9.7) are close.

  "We look forward to when it turns around, but we have got to make it turn around," Stallings said. "It's not going to happen just because we want it to happen. We have got to make it happen."

Michael Qualls slams one home as teammate Marshawn Powell and several Vanderbilt players

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