Eddins and Johnson Lead Hogs to Upset of No. 2
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Razorback freshman Blake Eddins scored 16 points while fellow freshman Joe Johnson hit for 15 points as Arkansas upset No. 24 Vanderbilt at Bud Walton Arena on Wednesday night.
Eddins earned a career high 16 points by hitting five of nine from the field to lead the Razorbacks (14-12, 6-7) to the 15-point victory. Johnson nailed seven of 12 from the field and gathered nine rebounds to aid the Razorback cause. The victory was Arkansas’ first over a ranked team this season after losing five previous tries against ranked clubs.
Vanderbilt (17-7, 7-6 SEC) was led by Dan Langhi who buried 14 of 15 from the free throw line on the way to 26 points. Langhi also led the Commodores with seven rebounds.
“This was a great victory for us,” Arkansas head coach Nolan Richardson said. “We played hard and executed well. Our team worked hard for this. We shot the ball and rebounded well. Everyone who played produced. I wish we could bottle our offense and defense from tonight and take it on the road.”
Arkansas blazed to an early lead posting a 34-9 run in the first 15 minutes of the first half. Vanderbilt missed 15 of its first 18 shots to help the Hogs jump to the early advantage. The Commodores responded with a 13-4 run the rest of the half and trailed 38-22 at intermission.
The Razorbacks extended the lead early in the second half and posted the game’s biggest lead at 60-34 with just over 11 minutes to play. Vanderbilt closed to within 20 in the game’s final minute before hitting four free throws to make the final margin 15 points.
“Vanderbilt is one of the premier shooting teams in the SEC,” Richardson said. “To hold them to 31 percent is remarkable. They did get some open looks and just didn’t hit some shots. We did a good job of keeping Langhi from getting started. I thought we limited his touches in the first half. In the second half he did a good job of drawing fouls. He is a great player. He is probably the best player in the SEC.”
Arkansas will take its modest one-game winning streak on the road to Lexington, Ky. this weekend to battle the No. 16 Kentucky Wildcats. The Razorbacks and Wildcats will battle at Rupp Arena at 11 a.m. CT on Saturday. The game will be televised by CBS.
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