Vandy falls, awaits NCAA Tournament seeding

Friday, March 14, 2008 at 5:54pm

ATLANTA -- Five Arkansas players scored in double figures to lead the Razorbacks to an 81-75 victory over Vanderbilt in second-round play Friday at the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

The 18th-ranked Commodores will now await their NCAA Tournament seeding. The brackets will be released Sunday night.

VU's Shan Foster was held to 14 points Friday, his lowest output since Jan. 30. Alex Gordon led the Commodores [26-7] with 22 points.

Darian Townes led Arkansas [21-10] with 18 points.

A 3-pointer by Gordon tied the game at 58 with 9:25 remaining, but Arkansas pulled away down the stretch behind guard Gary Ervin, who scored 11 points after Gordon's trey.

The Razorbacks will play Tennessee on Saturday in the SEC Tournament semifinals.

VU coach Kevin Stallings said rebounding was "the difference in the game." The Hogs won the battle of the boards 45-25.

"Our rebounding effort was pathetic, and that's my fault," Stallings said. "We gave them way too many second opportunities, third opportunities and fourth opportunities."

Vanderbilt's offense, meanwhile, sputtered with Foster hobbling with a sprained ankle.

"That's no excuse for not playing the way my team needed me to play," Foster.

Added Stallings: "We can't expect him to be Superman every night. He is most nights."

Arkansas has beaten Vanderbilt five straight times, including two straight years in the SEC Tournament.

"They just have our number, I guess," Gordon said.

The Commodores will make their third NCAA Tournament appearance in five years next week and second straight. A year ago, they advanced to the Sweet 16.

Stallings declined to speculate where VU will be seeded but expressed confidence that his squad can bounce back from its SEC Tournament showing.

"There's always hope," he said. "I'll feel better after we practice. I always do. We just need to get to practice and work on some things.

"I like our chances in the NCAA Tournament, quite honestly. But again, it's all about matchups and who you draw. We'll just see what happens on Sunday, and then we'll go about our business."

GOLD NUGGETS: Gordon topped the 1,000-point mark for his career Friday, becoming the 38th player in VU history to join the club. ...Vanderbilt is 0-3 all-time against Arkansas in the SEC Tournament. ...Foster pushed his total for career 3-pointers to 366, tying former Arkansas player Pat Bradley for second place in SEC history.

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By: courier37027 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Blah, blah, blah...Vanderbilt is going to kick Tennessee....blah, blah, blah...Vanderbilt owns Tennessee...blah, blah...Vanderbilt will own Tennessee in the SEC tournament. OOPS. Ownership is what Arkansas did to Vanderbilt this season...two wins over the 'Bores. Someone please awaken Stallings' team. Arkansas, Alabama, Arkansas: three great late season games 'Dores. Vanderbilt looked awful.

By: mama on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Don't forget about the 3 late season wins! Kentucky,Tennessee, Mississippi State. At least Arkansas won honest while the refs won for Tennessee. Can't wait to see how the Vols fair against Arkansas and if the refs pull this one out for them then Kentucky will for sure own them on Sunday.

By: Cowboy84 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Mama, those were all at Memorial, they have not beaten one NCAA tournament team on the road or on a neutral site this season. If Shan Foster scores 2-3 fewer baskets they lose both the UT and MSU games so let's not act like this Vandy team stacks up with the great Vandy teams of the past.UK can beat most anyone in the conference if they are shooting well but they can also lose to anyone when that outside shooting goes south which it will, it always does.

By: courier37027 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Kentucky, wow. You Cats think because Ashley Judd attends your games the SEC title is yours. Blue Mist is overrated and past their prime. Fire Gillespie.