Will Byrum & Peyton Shoulders
Listen to Ep. 135 of TDR : Immediate reaction of Vandy’s nail-biting victory in Fayetteville
The SEC opener for the Dores was absolute chaos from the opening tip. Leads jumped back and forth from start to finish with no team ever really taking control.
Arkansas had plenty of opportunities to put Vanderbilt away, even leading by 9 points late in the first half, but timely shooting and defense allowed the Commodores to remain within striking distance.
The defense has consistently performed game in and game out, and even down 3 guys on an already thin roster the points off turnovers helped Vanderbilt stay in the game. Vanderbilt currently ranks 21st in the country in defensive turnover %. (Kenpom, as of 1/4/22)
Trey Thomas hit 5 of Vanderbilt’s 10 three-pointers, and SEC Preseason Player of the Year Scotty Pippen Jr 100% lived up to the hype. He was the best and most poised player on the court, and he showed up in crunch time (except for the 2 dumb fouls).
In traditional Vanderbilt fashion, the game was way too close at the end. It took a miraculous Myles Stute block and an Arkansas buzzer beater falling just short to prevent the Razorbacks from completing a 6 point comeback in the final 40 seconds of the game.
Fortunately, the basketball Gods smiled upon the good guys last night. This is a huge stepping stone for Stackhouse, proving to himself that he can win against some of the conferences best, even with a depleted roster.