FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) – Jonathon Modica scored 19 points, and Arkansas pulled away late in the second half for a 78-66 win over Vanderbilt on Saturday.
The Commodores (11-3, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) trailed by 11 at halftime, but rallied to tie it at 55 with just over 7 minutes remaining, on Derrick Byars’ 3-pointer. Arkansas answered with an 11-2 run.
Darian Townes made two free throws, a dunk and a shot from the low post, putting the Razorbacks ahead 61-57. Modica’s 3-point play with 4:31 remaining made it 64-57, and Modica added a transition layup on Arkansas’ next possession to push the lead to nine.
Vanderbilt was seeking its first 3-0 SEC start since 1990. The Commodores beat Kentucky 57-52 Tuesday night, their first victory over the Wildcats in Lexington since 1974. Vanderbilt hasn’t won at Arkansas since 1996.
Shan Foster scored 22 points for Vanderbilt, 17 in the second half. Byars had 17 points and six assists.
Reserve Charles Thomas scored 15 points for the Razorbacks, and Ronnie Brewer added nine points and 11 rebounds. Arkansas (12-4, 1-2) outrebounded Vanderbilt 39-20 with a 23-10 advantage in the second half. The Razorbacks had 14 offensive rebounds while limiting Vanderbilt to nine.
Arkansas blew a 12-point first-half lead in Wednesday night’s 63-58 loss to LSU. This time, the Razorbacks led 34-23 after an inspired first half in which they held Vanderbilt to 9-of-24 shooting.
The Commodores rallied behind their 3-point shooting. After holding LSU without a 3-pointer, Arkansas allowed Vanderbilt to shoot 11-of-22 from long distance. The Commodores are one of three teams (UNLV and Princeton) to make a 3-pointer in every game since the rule was enacted for the 1986-87 season.
Arkansas shot 24-of-32 from the free throw line, enjoying a significant advantage over Vanderbilt, which finished 11-of-13.
The Razorbacks, who also got eight points from Eric Ferguson,play at Alabama on Wednesday in a 7 p.m. game televised by Jefferson-Pilot Sports.
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