NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Arkansas played solid defense, hit timely shots and made key free throws down the stretch as the Razorbacks picked up their first road win of the year on Wednesday with a 60-50 victory at Vanderbilt.
The Razorbacks were 0-8 on the road this year and had lost their last 15 away games, and had dropped five straight games overall this season.
With the win, UA improved to 8-16 overall and 3-10 in the Southeastern Conference. Vanderbilt dropped to 10-14 and 3-10.
Arkansas shot just 35.7 (20-56) percent for the game, but the Hogs held the Commodores to 27.6 (8-29) percent in the second half and 30 (18-60) percent for the game.
UA built a nine-point first-half lead, 25-16 on a three-pointer by Carl Baker, but Vandy scored 11 straight and took a 27-25 lead with 1:47 left in the period on two Julian Terrell free throws. Vanderbilt took a two-point lead two more times before the half, but Jonathon Modica answered with two free throws the first time and Michael Jones’ jumper three seconds before the horn tied the game at 29-29 at the half.
The Razorbacks scored the first five points on the second half and following a layup by Jason Holwerda to get the Commodores within 34-31, UA scored nine straight for a 43-31 lead on Dionisio Gomez’s jumper with 12:18 to play.
Arkansas stretched the lead to 15, 50-35, on Kendrick Davis’ three at the 6:44 mark, but VU scored 10 straight, including four by Brian Thornton, to get within 50-45 with 1:42 left.
From there, UA made 10 of 12 free throws to keep Vanderbilt from getting any closer than five. Eric Ferguson was seven of eight at the line down the stretch while Davis was two of two and Gomez one of two.
Ferguson led the Hogs with 14 points and five assists, and added a season-high eight rebounds. Modica had 12 points and six rebounds. Davis had 11 points and Gomez 10. Baker added seven points and five rebounds, and Rashard Sullivan had a season-high nine boards.
Matt Freije led Vanderbilt with 15 points, but the leading scorer for the Commodores (17.9 ppg) was just five of 16 from the floor. Thornton, VU’s second-leading scorer (13.0 ppg), had eight points, but he was only three of 11 shooting.
Arkansas returns home Saturday to play host to No. 20 Mississippi State in a 3 p.m. tilt televised by Jefferson-Pilot Sports.