Stan Heath's Arkansas Razorbacks held Vanderbilt to a season-low 30% shooting from the floor and picked up their first road win of the season Wednesday evening. Before 9,681 at Memorial Gym, the Razorbacks won a matchup between the SEC's two cellar-dwellers, 60-50.
It was the sixth consecutive loss for Vanderbilt, which fell to 10-14 (3-10 SEC) and is slowly seeing a once-promising season spin out of control. The Razorbacks improved to 8-16, 3-10.
"The game was lost on our offensive end," said Vanderbilt Coach Kevin Stallings. "We just did not play well offensively and did not shoot well offensively. We didn't get anything done inside. We got the ball in there, but our guys didn't score with it."
The Razorbacks were able to bottle up the Commodores' ace Matt Freije, who was only 3-of-14 from the field before hitting two 3-pointers late in the game. Freije did finish with 15 points, but no other Commodore scored in double figures.
Arkansas also struggled through a cold shooting night and managed only 35.7% from the floor. But the Razorbacks took advantage of a second-half Vanderbilt scoring drought which saw the Commodores score only six points in 14 minutes, and built a 15-point lead at 50-35.
As has been the pattern recently, the Commodores made a furious rally to cut the lead to 5 points thrice in the game's final two minutes. But Stallings' team was forced to foul to get the possession back, and the Razorbacks made good on their free throws. Twice in those final two minutes Arkansas stole the ball on telegraphed passes.
"I think we're a little frustrated," said junior forward Scott Hundley. "We knew the team was going to be down after losing a few in a row, but that's all something that teams go through. You're up, you're down, but the best way to go through a season is to have an even keel and never be too high or too low. Right now, we're kind of low, but hopefully we can pick it up next game."
The Razorbacks, led by freshman guard Eric Ferguson with 14 points, had four players in double figures.
Vanderbilt's 50 points was its lowest output of the season, and the lowest total since a 66-43 loss to Mississippi State in February, 2002.
The Commodores go on the road Saturday to face South Carolina at the brand new Carolina Center at 4:00 p.m. CST. The game will be televised on Fox SportsNet South. Dave Odom's Gamecocks defeated Vanderbilt at Memorial Gym, 84-72, on Feb. 8.