Arkansas Basketball: Road win under their belts

Arkansas Basketball

Michael Qualls game winning three. (Photo Credit: Mark Zaleski/AP)

They did it, they won on the road.

Michael Qualls hit a three with three seconds left to lead Arkansas to their first road victory of the season with a 77-75 win over Vanderbilt Saturday.

Qualls led the Hogs (15-8, 4-6 SEC) with 17 points. Senior Coty Clarke added 14 points and five rebounds, including two important offensive rebounds. Rashad Madden added 12 points and Mardracus Wade added 11 points.

The Hogs shot 54 percent (27-of-50) from the field and 62.5 percent (10-of-16) from behind the arc. They shot well, which is a main factor in them winning SEC games. They have the tools to score but they actually have to do it and they did just that against Vanderbilt.

Arkansas lead by nine with just fewer than nine minutes left in the game. The Hogs did not score again until under the two-minute mark, after Vanderbilt had taken a three-point lead but a three by Madden tied the game.

Clarke was fouled with 27 seconds left. He went to the line and missed the first free throw and made the second to give Arkansas a one-point lead. Vanderbilt then hit two free throws after a foul by Wade with 14 seconds left to give the Commodores a one-point lead.

Qualls hit a three with three seconds lift Arkansas. Vanderbilt’s Rod Odom had a good, open look at three to win the game with a second left but just missed.

Arkansas almost pulled an “Arkansas” by letting Vanderbilt get back into the game but they actually pulled this one out.

The road win curse has been broken; they won a game on the road somewhere other than Auburn. Now they know what it takes to win on the road, hopefully they can continue to pick up a couple more road wins.

Was a change in jerseys the answer to the road curse?

Probably not. But, the Hogs brought out their Anthracite jersey’s for the first time this season and maybe they were good luck. Don’t be surprised if Arkansas wears their Anthracite jerseys in their next road game.

Arkansas did a good job of turning up the tempo in this game and wearing Vanderbilt down. Vanderbilt is a team with absolutely no depth and Arkansas used their depth to their advantage to win.

The Arkansas bench outscored the Vanderbilt bench, 40-2. The Hogs forced 15 turnovers, including 11 steals. The Commodores were physically exhausted by the end of the game; exactly what Arkansas wanted.

Mardracus Wade had his best game of the season with his season-high 11 points. But, he wasn’t only playing well on the offensive side. He played spectacular defense and really helped set the pace on defense for the Razorbacks, including two steals. This was huge for Arkansas to finally get some quality minutes from Wade.

With the wins over Alabama and Vanderbilt this week, Arkansas has kept alive their postseason hopes.

Arkansas will travel to Columbia Thursday night to take on Missouri. Missouri has lost three straight games (Kentucky, Florida, and Ole Miss) since their win over Arkansas in Bud Walton.