No. 19 Vandy closes out regular season vs. Arkansas
Nashville, TN (Sports Network) – The 19th-ranked Vanderbilt Commodores close
out a tremendous regular season against the Arkansas Razorbacks in an SEC
It is hard to believe that none of the six SEC Western Division teams
possess a winning conference record. Four teams are tied at 7-8 in league
play, and Arkansas checks in at 6-9. The Razorbacks managed to halt a two-
game skid with a 67-58 victory over Mississippi State on Wednesday at home,
but they are just 1-8 in true road games this season.
Of the 12 teams that compete in the league, Vanderbilt has the second-
best record at 10-5. The Commodores, who are 20-9 overall, needed overtime
to post a 99-90 road victory over South Carolina on Wednesday, the second
straight win for the squad.
Arkansas owns an 11-7 edge in the all-time series with Vanderbilt, but the
Commodores are 2-6 in the series at home.
Patrick Beverley is scoring 14.1 ppg for Arkansas this season on the strength
of his 42.7 percent shooting from three-point range. He is also an 82.7 percent
shooter from the foul line and has racked up 55 steals. Sonny Weems and Charles
Thomas add balance to the lineup for the Razorbacks, as both of those players
are contributing 11.4 ppg this season. Arkansas is outscoring its opponents by
5.5 ppg overall, but that margin shrinks to less than one point in league play.
In Wednesday’s nine-point victory over Mississippi State, the Razorbacks got 20
points, seven assists and six rebounds from versatile guard Gary Ervin. Stefan
Welsh nailed 4-of-5 three-pointers off the bench en route to 16 points, and
both Beverley and Weems netted 10 points apiece. Arkansas limited Mississippi
State to 31.7 percent shooting from the field.
Vanderbilt boasts one of the top duos in the SEC in Derrick Byars and Shan
Foster. Byars leads the team in scoring with 16.8 ppg, and Foster is close
behind with 15.7 ppg. While the Commodores depend heavily on those two
individuals, there are other talented performers in the fold. Dan Cage (11.1
ppg) and Ross Neltner (10.1 ppg) provide balance to the lineup for Vandy, which
is posting 77.1 ppg this season. Foster was simply sensational in the overtime
win over South Carolina, as he exploded for 33 points on 11-of-21 shooting from
the floor. Byars shot a rather inefficient 4-of-12, but he finished with 18
points, nine rebounds and eight assists. The Commodores shot just a shade under
50 percent from the field as a team, including a stellar 16-of-30 showing from