Arkansas (14-8) at Vanderbilt (8-13)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 9, 1:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Memorial Gymnasium (14,316) -- Nashville, Tennessee.
Television: SEC Network. Home Record: Arkansas 14-1, Vanderbilt 5-5. Away
Record: Arkansas 0-5, Vanderbilt 2-5. Neutral Record: Arkansas 0-2, Vanderbilt
1-3. Conference Record: Arkansas 5-4, Vanderbilt 2-7. Series Record: Arkansas
GAME NOTES: Fresh off their biggest victory of the season, the Arkansas
Razorbacks will try to keep the momentum going when they visit Memorial
Gymnasium in Nashville for an SEC showdown with the Vanderbilt Commodores.
Arkansas hosted Florida on Tuesday night and shocked the nation's No. 2 team
with an 80-69 triumph to move above .500 in SEC play this season at 5-4. The
win continued the Razorbacks' outstanding campaign at home, where they have
won 14 of 15 games, but now they head back out on the road trying for their
first win away from Fayetteville this season.
Vanderbilt fought hard on the road at LSU on Wednesday night but a late rally
fell short as it dropped a 57-56 decision, for its season-long fourth straight
defeat. Success for the Commodores has been fleeting at best during the
2012-13 campaign, as they are just 8-13 overall and their 2-7 conference mark
places them in a three-way tie for last place in the SEC with both Mississippi
State and South Carolina.
The Razorbacks have doubled up Vanderbilt in the all-time series, 18-9, which
includes a 56-33 home victory in the first meeting this season back on Jan.
Arkansas opened up a 17-point lead at the half against Florida and its
advantage was never in doubt down the stretch, and it defeated a ranked team
in Bud Walton Arena for the fourth time in the past two seasons. The
Razorbacks shot greater than 49 percent from the field in the win and had
seven players net at least seven points, paced by BJ Young (13 points, five
assists), Marshawn Powell (11 points) and Michael Qualls (11 points). Arkansas
averages 77.1 ppg, second to only Ole Miss in the SEC, but it has been a
completely different team on the road, as that number plummets to a mere 58.4
ppg. Young is one of the conference's most dangerous playmakers, ranking third
in scoring (16.5 ppg) on 46.2 percent shooting from the field, while logging
more than twice as many assists (86) as turnovers (40). Powell is the
Razorbacks' answer in the frontcourt with 15.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg and more than a
block and a steal per outing as well.
Vanderbilt trailed LSU for nearly the entire game the last time out, and while
a Rod Odom 3-pointer with 10 seconds left capped off a 6-1 run in the final
minute to bring the game to one possession, the team could not complete the
comeback. The Commodores were plagued by an awful shooting performance, as
they made just 17-of-54 attempts from the floor (.315), which spoiled a
stellar defensive effort which held LSU to 14 points fewer than its season
average. Odom finished with a career-high 20 points, shooting 5-of-11 from the
field, including 3-of-5 from beyond the arc. Dai-Jon Parker was also solid
with 11 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Vanderbilt consistently puts
together strong efforts on defense, holding foes to a mere 61.2 ppg, but it
has a poor record due to the SEC's worst scoring offense (59.2 ppg). Kedren
Johnson averages 14.5 ppg to pace the squad, and he dishes out 3.2 apg as
well. Kyle Fuller (9.7 ppg) and Odom (9.7 ppg) are the only other consistent
options for the 'Dores.
The Razorbacks' road woes have been well-documented, and even with their upset
victory earlier in the week, they can't be considered a true contender until
they show they can win away from Bud Walton Arena. Vandy's defense should be
up to the challenge, but it won't be enough to slow down a confident Arkansas
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Arkansas 65, Vanderbilt 60
02/09 10:33:53 ET
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