Mike Anderson finding ways not to lose against one of the worse teams in the league.
By Jose Lopez & Miguel Angel Serratos
Fotos: Crant Osborne
Keyshawn Embery-Simpson drilled a 3-pointer with 1:14 remaining to give Arkansas 67-66 lead and, after Jalen Harris forced a turnover on the ensuing Vanderbilt possession, Mason Jones sank two free throws with seven seconds left for a 69-66 victory over the Commodores Tuesday night at Bud Walton Arena.
Not only did Daniel Gafford provide the assist on Embery-Simpson’s 3-pointer, the sophomore scored a game-high 28 points, making a career-high 10-of-12 free throws. Isaiah Joe made six 3-pointers and scored 18 points while handing out a game and career-high five assists.
Arkansas trailed most of the first half before making a charge at the end of the period, thanks to three 3-pointers by Joe, to trail by one, 35-34 at halftime.
Gafford kept the momentum going after intermission, scoring the first six points (two field goals and two free throws) to start the second half and give the Razorbacks a five-point lead. Arkansas would eventually lead by as many as 10 (56-46) midway through the second half.
The Commodores would go up two (66-64) with 40 seconds left, forcing an Arkansas timeout. Embery-Simpson checked into the game during the stoppage and, 20 seconds later, hit the biggest shot of his young career to put his squad up one with 14 seconds left.
Arkansas returns to the road for two games. First, the Razorbacks travel to Columbia, S.C., to face the South Carolina Gamecocks on Saturday (Feb. 9). Arkansas will then play at Columbia, Mo., versus the Missouri Tigers on Tuesday (Feb. 12)