After a rocky start, Arkansas put all the pieces together for a comfortable 72-54 win over Vanderbilt. Jaylen Barford and Daryl Macon were a combined 8/12 from 3 point range and had 37 points together. Daniel Gafford put in 16 with nine boards and a career high seven blocks with some highlight plays to cap off the win.
It was an absolutely horrific shooting performance from the Commodores in Bud Walton. Vanderbilt ended the game shooting just 25 percent from the field, and for a team that fires up a lot of threes, it was an awful 3/26 from deep. They couldn’t get anyone in double figures as the pressure from the Hogs clearly affected the legs of the Vanderbilt shooters.
The game was close in the first half, Arkansas had just a seven point halftime lead mostly due to 10 turnovers. Vanderbilt had a stretch of 12 straight missed shots and the Hogs turned a six point defecit into a 26-15 lead. Arkansas’ 9-1 run, all three pointers from Macon and Barford, stretched the lead to 16 and the Hogs wouldn’t look back. Vanderbilt wouldn’t get the lead closer than 13 points for the rest of the night.
Now at 17-8 and 6-6 in SEC play, Arkansas remains square in the middle of the SEC race with a tough six remaining games. They are in a pack of seven teams within two games of each other. Those spots are for 4th through 10th in the conference so the final few weeks will have a major impact on the SEC Tournament, as well as the NCAA births. It’s such a crucial stretch for the Hogs as well because they have four games remaining against the teams in that pack.