Senior guard Jimmy Whitt Jr. scored a career-high 30 as Arkansas pulled away from Vanderbilt in the second half and scored a 75-55 win on Wednesday evening in Fayetteville, Ark.
Vanderbilt held the Razorbacks’ two leading scorers, guards Mason Jones (19.4 points per game coming in) and Isaiah Joe (18.2) to one and 12 points, respectively.
Both went scoreless in the first half, but it didn’t matter. Whitt had 17 in the first period to stake Arkansas to a 34-28 lead.
Jones had eight assists for the Razorbacks (14-2, 3-1 Southeastern Conference), who never trailed in the second half. Reggie Chaney added 14 points for Arkansas while Desi Sills had 13.
Saben Lee (17 points), Max Evans (16) and Scotty Pippen Jr. (11) led Vanderbilt (8-8, 0-3). Including conference tournament games, the Commodores have dropped 23 straight against SEC foes.
Arkansas clung to a 37-33 lead until Joe scored his first points on a 3-pointer with 16:54 left. He hit another bomb 47 seconds later as the Razorbacks took their first double-figure lead of the evening. Another Joe trey with 7:27 left made it 64-45.
The largest Razorbacks lead came at the final horn.
Vanderbilt jumped to a 15-12 lead behind eight points from Evans.
That’s when the Razorbacks started either getting out in transition or taking the ball to the rack in the half-court. Whitt’s baseline jumper with 3:47 left in the half gave Arkansas its biggest lead (29-20) to that point.
Meanwhile, Vanderbilt went 6:40 without a field goal until Evans picked one up off an Arkansas goaltend with 2:36 left.
Arkansas missed its first eight 3-point attempts until Sills hit one from the left corner with 1:23 left in the half, providing a six-point lead.
Whitt had 17 by halftime while Evans tied a career high in the first half alone with 16. Evans didn’t score after the break.
—Field Level Media