Sophomore Michael Qualls’ (@Mr_WalkOnAir) three-pointer with 2.6 seconds left lifted the Arkansas men’s basketball team to a dramatic 77-75 SEC road win at Vanderbilt on Saturday at Memorial Gymnasium.
After leading by nine, 68-59, with under nine minutes to play, the Razorbacks found themselves down three, 71-68, with under three to play. Arkansas turned to its leading scorer in SEC play junior Rashad Madden (@RKMadden), who knocked down a three to tie the score at 71-71 and followed with a jumper two possessions later to tie the game at 73-73.
Arkansas proceeded to get a much-needed stop at the defensive end and took the lead the next time down the floor as senior Coty Clarke (@CTC_4) hit one of two free throws to give the Razorbacks at 74-73 edge and start a wild final 25 seconds.
Following a timeout, the Commodores got the ball into the hands of senior Kyle Fuller who got into the paint and drew the two-shot foul. Fuller, who finished with 20 points and five assists, calmly sank both shots to give the lead back to Vanderbilt, 75-74, with 11 seconds to play.
Arkansas went to its hot hand, as Madden penetrated Vanderbilt’s 2-3 zone, drawing defenders before passing the ball to Qualls in the left corner for his third three-pointer of the game and a 77-75 lead.
Following a length-of-the-floor pass that was deflected out-of-bounds by Arkansas, Vanderbilt was able to get off a game-winning shot out a side out-of-bounds play with 1.4 seconds left, but Rod Odom’s three was off the mark.
Qualls led Arkansas with 17 points off the bench followed by 14 from Madden, as Arkansas (15-8, 4-6) snapped a seven-game road losing streak and put an end to Vanderbilt’s (13-9, 5-5) four-game win streak.
Worthy Of A Hog Call (#WPS)
For the second time in SEC action, Qualls provided the game-winning shot for the Razorbacks. Earlier in the year against Kentucky, Qualls threw down a put-back dunk with 0.2 seconds left in overtime for an 87-85 win over the 13th-ranked Wildcats on ESPN’s Super Tuesday. Qualls knows how to bring the Arkansas faithful to their feet, providing the two game-winners while appearing on the #SCtop10 five times to earn the hashtag #QuallinTheHogs.
Key(s) To The Contest
Arkansas was able to play its #Fastest40 style against Vanderbilt behind a rotation of 11 players compared to just eight for the Commodores. Behind Qualls’ 17 points and a season-high 11 points from senior Mardracus Wade (@WadeNoDwyane), the Razorback bench out-scored its opposition 40-2. It’s the seventh time this season the Arkansas bench has scored 40 points, but the first in SEC play.
@RazorbackMBB Quick Hits
Ø Arkansas donned anthracite uniforms for the first time this season.
Ø The game featured 14 lead changes, including three in the final 25 seconds.
Ø Arkansas owns a 19-11 edge in 30 meetings with Vanderbilt, winning three of the last five at Memorial Gymnasium.
Ø The 45 first half points were the most on the road since Feb. 7, 2009, at Mississippi State via @HogStats.
Ø Arkansas extended its streak of consecutive games with a three-pointer to 827 – good for the sixth-longest streak in the nation – hitting 10-of-16 from long range.
Ø The Razorbacks improved to 8-0 when shooting 50 percent or better from the field, finishing 27-of-50.
Ø Arkansas’ 77 points were the most given up by Vanderbilt at home since its season opener.
Ø Four or more Razorbacks have scored double figures in a game 12 times.
Ø Razorbacks’ three dunks in the game brought their season total to 72.
Ø Qualls reached double figures for the 16th time this season.
Ø Qualls has seven three-pointers in his last three games, one more than his total from 2012-13.
Ø Madden has now reached double-digits in 17 of the last 20 games.
Ø Clarke scored 11 of Arkansas’ first 16 points, including nine straight.
Ø Wade’s 11 points matched a season-high and marked his first double figure outing since the season opener.
Coach Anderson Postgame Sound
“Our guys didn’t panic late in the game. We’re starting to grow up and they’re learning what it takes to finish off a win. I’m really proud of the guys in that locker room. Tonight we played as a team and that’s why we were able to come out on top.”
Ø Arkansas won the turnover battle for the 26th time in its last 27 games, including 21 of 22 this season.
Ø Razorbacks have now won the turnover battle 75 times in 87 games under coach Anderson.
Ø Scored 20+ points off turnovers for the 14th time this season.
Ø Forced Vanderbilt into 11 first half turnovers, while the Commodores committed single digit miscues in two of previous four games.
Ø Razorbacks finished with a positive assist/turnover ratio for the 20th time in 23 games, while opponent has done so just four times.
Ø Arkansas’ 11 steals marked its seventh double figure steal game in the last 13 contests.
Ø Razorbacks committed 12 or less turnovers for the 16th time this season.
@RazorbackMBB Postgame Tweetables (140 Characters Or Less)
Ø #QuallinTheHogs @Mr_WalkOnAir provided another game-winner for @RazorbackMBB at Vandy with a BIG three with 2.6 left. #NeverYield