Vanderbilt can't keep pace with Arkansas in second half

Tuesday, January 31, 2012 at 11:37pm
Staff reports

No road team has escaped Bud Walton Arena this season with a win.

Vanderbilt was no different.

The 25th-ranked Commodores were overwhelmed in the second half, losing 82-74 on the road to Arkansas on Tuesday night.

Vanderbilt (16-6, 5-2 SEC) led by two points at halftime but the Razorbacks quickly turned the momentum. Using their fullcourt press and heavy dose of 3-pointers, they went on a 19-6 run and staked an insurmountable 59-46 lead with 12:53 remaining.

Arkansas (16-6, 4-3) made five 3-pointers during the stretch. They were just 9-of-23 for the game.

The Commodores, who had won 10 of their previous 11, finally pulled back within single digits in the final two minutes. But it was too late as the Razorbacks broke Vanderbilt’s press a couple times for easy baskets.

Rickey Scott had 18 points and was one of five Arkansas players to score in double figures.

Vanderbilt guard John Jenkins scored a game-high 19, one point off his SEC-leading average. But the junior had to work for his points, shooting 6-of-14 from the field and 4-of-10 from 3-point range.

Jeffery Taylor added 18, Festus Ezeli scored 10 of his 14 before halftime and Steve Tchiengang chipped in 10 off the bench.

It was only Vanderbilt’s second road loss of the season, falling to 4-2 in true road games.

The Commodores stay on the road and play at No. 12 Florida on Saturday.

2 Comments on this post:

By: Rasputin72 on 2/1/12 at 8:01

This is a good team but never thought of by me as a great team. The worst injustice to this team was to be picked as a pre-season #7. This unrealistic assessment has worked to their disadvantage as people continue to think that Vanderbilt is not living up to their expectations.

It was the expectations that were wrong not this group of badly coached young men.

By: Dore4Life on 2/2/12 at 11:06

I don't always agree with coaching decisions either. For example, I NEVER could get behind Bobby Johnson's puzzling coaching strategies. However, I have no sympathy for players when they simply don't give as much effort as their opponents. Arkansas' players simply gave more effort than VU's players on Tuesday night. They out-rebounded a VU team that had much more size. They out-hustled VU's players to every loose ball.

THAT was the difference when VU was able to stop turning the ball over to that vaunted full-court press; and Arkansas began making three pointers against lazy VU defense (shades of the 2nd half against MSU).

John Jenkins and Jeffrey Taylor were specifically pathetic (yeah I know how many points thy scored). Both missed multiple open shots and neither one seems to have the desire or ability to truly take over a basketball game at both ends of the floor. Actually, I should restate that. Jenkins has the desire, but it is manifested in him throwing up silly shots and trying to act his way into getting fouls called against the opponents. Taylor has the ability, but doesn't have the desire. The VU bench performed fine against Arkansas. especially Tcheingang who was effective in Ezeli's stead.

The only curious thing about the Arkansas game from a coaching standpoint is why Goulbourne did not play at all down the stretch. I don't remember seeing him get injured and I'm pretty positive he wasn't even close to foul trouble. His play has been HUGE for this year's VU team and yet he was no where to be found. Very peculiar.