Tom Murphy is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of Louisiana Tech University, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 football poll.
UA shoots 30.8 percent, is 0-8 away from Walton
Arkansas guard Kikko Haydar walks down the court after Arkansas was called for a foul late in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, in Nashville, Tenn. Vanderbilt won 67-49. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. The confidence and energy Arkansas showed in its high octane performance against No. 2 Florida didn’t make the trip to Memorial Gymnasium.
The Razorbacks followed Tuesday night’s headline grabbing upset of the Gators with a dud Saturday in a 67-49 loss to Vanderbilt.
Arkansas (14-9, 5-5 SEC) shot 30.8 percent while posting its lowest point total of the season and its lowest score ever against Vanderbilt (9-13, 3-7). Arkansas’ shooting percentage also was a season low, eclipsing its 34.4 percent shooting in a 75-54 loss at South Carolina on Jan. 26.
The Razorbacks are 0-8 away from Walton Arena,including 0-5 in SEC road games.
“I’m real, real surprised,” Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson said of his team’s lack of carryover from its 11-point victory over Florida at Walton Arena in Fayetteville. “I guess I’ll take the blame for that. I did a poor job of making sure our guys were on an even keel.
“Sometimes when you play a team such as Florida and people are patting you on the back, you start believing, and I think we got caught up in that.”
Vanderbilt had lost three of its four SEC home games and was 5-5 overall at home this season. The Commodores made half their shots (21 of 42) and 9 of 22 three-pointers (40.9 percent) as it turned the tables on their 56-33 loss at Arkansas on Jan. 12.
“When you beat at team like that, like we did at home, they come out with a lot of energy and a lot of passion to get revenge,” Arkansas guard Kikko Haydar said.
“It definitely gave us a little extra motivation with how we performed when we went down to Arkansas,” said Vanderbilt’s Rod Odom, who scored a game-high 15 points. “It gave us motivation to play harder and take it to them like they took it to us.”
Vanderbilt, which shot 25 percent from the field in the loss at Arkansas, took command Saturday with a 14-3 run to go ahead 21-11 with Razorbacks forward Marshawn Powell mostly watching from the bench because of foul trouble. Sheldon Jeter made two three-pointers in that stretch, including a bank shot from the top of the key.
The Commodores led by 15 points in the first half and by 20 three times in the second half.
“I’m certainly fired up for my team,” Vanderbilt Coach Kevin Stallings said. “I thought that was a tremendous effort,especially a tremendous effort defensively.”
Mardracus Wade led the Razorbacks with 13 points, which included 2-of-4 shooting from behind the three-point line. Haydar made all three of his three pointers and scored nine points.
Jeter made 3 of 5 three-pointers and scored 13 points for Vanderbilt, and reserve center Josh Henderson went 5 of 6 from the field for 11 points. Vanderbilt also out rebounded Arkansas 35-30, an eight-rebound reversal from their earlier game.
The Razorbacks, who made 8 of 18 three-pointers against Florida, made 6 of 18 against Vanderbilt.
Powell got into early foul trouble, did not take a shot in the first half and finished 2 of 4 for five points before fouling out with 3:20 remaining. Fellow Razorback interior players Coty Clarke, Michael Qualls, Hunter Mickelson and Jacorey Williams combined for 4-of-26 shooting.
“We scored 49 points,” Anderson said. “We’ve been in games where we’ve scored 49 points in like 20 minutes. So part of that Vanderbilt did a good job, and part of that - to our demise - we didn’t make shots.”
Wade made his first two three-pointers to give Arkansas a 6-2 lead, but the hot start fizzled almost immediately as Powell picked up two fouls in the first 2:26 and went to the bench. Trailing 17-11 midway through the half and needing a spark, Anderson gave Powell another shot and the junior picked up his third foul 30 seconds later.
“It’s a gamble any time you do it,” Anderson said of reinserting Powell. “He’s done it before and he’s done well with it. Today he got caught, I guess, with his hand in the cookie jar.”
Powell powered in a couple of buckets early in the second half, and two free throws by Ky Madden cut Arkansas’ deficit to 43-38 with 11:45 remaining.
“I thought the only time we got on our heels was early in the second half today,” Stallings said. “There was some neutralizing going on, but that was the only time they had us back on our heels.”
The Commodores responded by shutting out Arkansas over the next 5:35 and going on a 9-0 run, capped by back to-back inside baskets by Henderson and Kedren Johnson’s three-pointer for a 52-38 advantage.
A few minutes later, Vanderbilt launched another 9-0 run to take a 61-41 lead and the rout was on.
Sports, Pages 23 on 02/10/2013