Vanderbilt pulled an Arkansas football.
The Commodores absolutely owned Tuesday night’s game after a 14-0 run gave them the lead by that many with less than six minutes left. Arkansas shouldn’t have stood a chance.
Then again, there’s a reason Vanderbilt is under .500 in the SEC.
Vanderbilt turned the ball over on its last two possessions, the final one leading to a last-ditch 3-point attempt by Daryl Macon with the Razorbacks down two. For some reason – for some ridiculous reason – two Commodores players challenged him hard as his shot went up with 1.6 seconds left. They knocked him down. Then he knocked them down.
Macon made all three free throws and Arkansas left Nashville with one of the nuttiest wins of the Mike Anderson era, 71-70. The Razorbacks (15-4, 5-3) finished the game on a 7-0 run.
An 14-0 Vanderbilt (9-11, 3-5) run that began with 12:52 left didn’t end until there was just 5:50 remaining. Moses Kingsley finally snapped the no-field-goal streak with 5:50 left. It was an and-1, actually, and cut Vanderbilt’s lead to 10 points. Things got wacky from that point, ending with Macon’s madness.
The junior-college transfer had 12 points on just 2 of 8 shooting from the field, but a perfect 7 of 7 night from the free throw line. Dusty Hannahs had 14 of his 17 in the second half, leading the team.
The win keeps the Razorbacks in grand contention for an NCAA Tournament berth. Not even contention for, actually. The Hogs are in the Dance. Beating Vanderbilt in Nashville is a big win, no matter the Commodores record. Arkansas has lost just one SEC game it was supposed to win – Mississippi State a couple weeks ago – and is two games above .500.
Tell me that’s not a Tournament team.
Vanderbilt led by 15 points in the second half and by six points in the final minute. Riley LaChance’s turnover led to points and Luke Kornet’s led to Macon’s game-winning free throws.
No one to blame but Vanderbilt in this one.
Stat line of the game
Simple. Arkansas is the best free-throw shooting team in the SEC. Macon’s free throws in the final seconds technically won the game. The team’s free throws in the second half allowed them to.
These are their numbers from the line in the second half. Fancy.
at Oklahoma State