ATLANTA – When Sonny Weems and Patrick Beverley combine to go 4-of-20 from the field during a game, most folks would assume that would be in a game that the University of Arkansas lost.
But that was not the case on Friday because Razorbacks seniors like Darian Townes, Gary Ervin and Charles Thomas stepped up big-time.
Townes, who hit his first six shots from the field, and Ervin both had season-highs with 18 points and Thomas "returned to the living" according to head coach John Pelphrey with 13 points.
"This was a game that we went into knowing that we could win if we would just play tough, play together and do all the little things," Townes said. "That's just what we did. Even if Pat and Sonny didn't shoot the ball well, they did a lot of other things that put us in position to make plays."
The UA frontline powered Arkansas to a 50-20 edge in points in the paint, a 45-24 rebounding advantage and 22 offensive rebounds while Vandy had just 6.
Townes, who had 7 rebounds, had 13 of his points in the first half while making 6-of-7 shots and his only free throw attempt.
"I have been just been posting up real strong and making sure they can see my number," Townes said. "I have tried to get the guy on my back and use my feet and the guards have been doing a great job of getting me the ball. And I then only thinking one thing and that is getting the ball and scoring."
As much as Townes brought to the floor offensively, a combination of defense from him fellow senior center Steven Hill may have been just as important.
The pair of them limited Vanderbilt freshman star A.J. Ogilvy to just 14 points, 13 less than he had in a 93-82 win opening-round win over Auburn.
Ogivly was just 4-of-8 from the field – an amount of shots he had in the first half alone in his team's first game of the tournament.
He was 0-of-3 in the second half with Hill swatting two of those attempts – both hook shots – away.
Foster, the league's MVP, was just 4-for-10.
"We did not want to give him any easy shots and I don't think we did," Townes said. "If we were going to get beat somebody besides him and Foster were going to have to do it."
Steven Hill defends against Vanderbilt's A.J. Ogilvy.
Arkansas' Charles Thomas and Patrick Beverley hit the floor to try and get a loose ball.
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