Vanderbilt turns the tables on Arkansas, ends losing streak

Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 5:19pm

Vanderbilt returned the favor and exorcised some demons in the process.

After an embarrassing loss to Arkansas last month, the Commodores got revenge, snapped a four-game losing streak and finally held onto a big lead in a 67-49 victory over the Razorbacks on Saturday at Memorial Gymnasium.

Junior forward Rod Odom led all scorers with 15 points as Vanderbilt won for the first time since Jan. 23. The Commodores limited Arkansas to season-lows in points and field-goal percentage (30.8). These were the same Razorbacks who upset No. 2 Florida on Tuesday and whipped Vanderbilt 56-33 on Jan. 12.

“We definitely feel it is great to get things turned around,” Odom said. “How we performed at Arkansas gave us motivation to play harder and try to take it to them like they took it to us.”

Vanderbilt (9-13, 3-7 Southeastern Conference) never trailed after the first seven minutes, led by 15 twice in the first half and produced its largest halftime lead, 35-24, in SEC play.

An unwanted sense of déjà vu crept into the minds of 10,886 at Memorial Gymnasium when Arkansas pulled within five, 43-38, with 11:45 left. The Commodores had blown double-digit leads to Ole Miss and Alabama and had lost their last three SEC games by six points.

This time, however, they didn’t buckle.

After two free throws by Odom, Josh Henderson sandwiched four straight points around his career-high third block. He tipped in his own miss to give Vanderbilt an 11-point lead. Kedren Johnson capped off a 9-0 run with a 3-pointer for a 52-38 advantage with 6:46 to go.

In the last 11:45, Arkansas (14-9, 5-5) scored just 11 points and made only three baskets.

“I thought our response was fantastic. I hope it is a step in the right direction,” coach Kevin Stallings said. “At some point, human nature or common sense says their confidence is going to waver if they don't win. They’re going to lose faith, lose hope, lose confidence, lose trust, lose something, so you need something good to happen. They haven’t shown any signs of that ... and I applaud them for that.”

Henderson came off the bench to score 11 points, grab four rebounds and block three shots as Stallings changed the starting lineup for the fifth straight game. Freshman guard/forward Sheldon Jeter scored 13 points – all in the first half – as he started for just the sixth time.

Mardracus Wade scored 13 points for led Arkansas, which is 14-1 at home but 0-6 on the road. Marshawn Powell, the team’s second-leading scorer, had just five points. He fouled out and played only 17 minutes after picking up his third foul midway through the first half.

6 Comments on this post:

By: Rasputin72 on 2/9/13 at 7:55

Who wpuld have ever thought tat these lost souls could blow anybody out of the gym.

By: TITAN1 on 2/9/13 at 9:17

Props to Vandy! 18 point win over favored Arkansas! Big man Henderson played a great game!

By: joe41 on 2/10/13 at 10:27

Jeter and Henderson were super in this win. Am now beginning to believe that these guys could make some noise in the SEC tourney.

By: 4gold on 2/10/13 at 10:52

LOLOLOLOLOL, guess this bunch can win the title now.

SEC wont have a team past the 16 this year. Pitiful league. Oh, UK might get some sweet heart bracket like they always do.

Baseball in 5 days. It cant come quick enough.

Go Dores, Preds, Titans! Go Nashville a great place to live!

By: TITAN1 on 2/10/13 at 1:50

Debbie Downer, is that you?

By: dwight14 on 2/10/13 at 5:02

well as i have been trying to tell some of ya'll,these KIDDIE CORPS have to learn a lot in a short time..this yr is just a learning process and one i think they are doing a great job at..yesterday was just an example...given time,they will be a great squad...very,VERY lucky to have one of the smartest coaches in the game with kevin stallings...he will mold these young men into winners before all is said and,he cant get those one and done wonders lots of schools attract and im glad..but the type players he does bring to vandy are the very raw hungry players who are very capable of learning the game of college ball...ive been saying since last yr,that we are going to go thru a very rough yr losing 88% of our scoring and we are...but these men are growing up and doing so very well i think..remember,they have never had to do everything on the court...i wouldnt be afraid to say 20 wins next yr...heck if we could just reverse our 1 point losses into 1 point wins,look at how our record would look today...yes thruout a season,you win some you shouldnt,but you lose some you shouldnt..and this squad has lost more than they should have,but not won more than they should have.given that,they are a good ball club to those who study the game and know the the outsider,i know just looking at the record you wouldnt think so..but im not your casual observer..i watch every game and know the pain they have had inflicted on themselves either by their youth and in experience,or by bad very proud of them and always will be...