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Arkansas edges Vanderbilt 77-75
Question of the Day
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Michael Qualls made the game-winning dunk in Arkansas’ earlier upset over Kentucky, and he hit the 3-pointer Saturday that lifted the Razorbacks to their first road victory of the season.
Qualls sank the 3-pointer with 4 seconds remaining as Arkansas (15-8, 4-6 Southeastern Conference) ended Vanderbilt’s four-game win streak with its short-handed roster, 77-75.
“It feels big to know that I’m there when the team needs me, If they need me, to be there to try to make a play,” Qualls said.
A week ago, Qualls was one of two Razorbacks suspended during the loss to LSU due to conduct detrimental to the team. The sophomore finished with 17 points against the Commodores (13-9, 5-5), who almost pulled off more Memorial magic with a late 12-0 run.
“I always want to be there for my team,” Qualls said. “. I feel like this is the first game we came out and we played tenacious all 40 minutes, not 30, 25, we played all 40 minutes. We’re just going to try to continue to do that and stay on that pace.”
The Razorbacks’ hot shooting (15 of 22 for 68 percent the first 16 minutes) and full-court press (nine first-half steals) wore on the Commodores’ small roster. Vanderbilt played only eight including a walk-on due to injury, dismissal and departures.
“It was a tremendous basketball game played by two teams that when you talk about a clash of styles . But to their credit, they kept the pace for the most part, and made it really, really interesting,” Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson said.
“We were fortunate because we had the last possession and we executed a play coming out of that timeout. Mike knocked down a big shot, (Madden) made a great pass to him, something we hadn’t been doing throughout the year. . We’re learning how to win.”
“He was playing his heart out, he wasn’t going to let his team go down, made the free throws that put them back ahead,” Anderson said. “Our guys did not panic, and that’s a sign your team is growing up.”
Odom missed a 3-point try on the buzzer that would have kept the Commodores’ win streak alive.
“It was wide open, coach drew up a great play, I can’t ask for a better shot than that in that situation,” Odom said. “I thought I was going to make it.”
Fuller hit one of two free throws and Siakam made an inside bucket as Vanderbilt went ahead 71-68 with 3 minutes left on the 12-0 run. Madden’s 3-pointer, however, ended the Razorbacks’ drought and evened the game at 71.
By Steve King
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