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January 12, 2013

VU no-shows in Arkansas, loses 56-33

FAYETTEVILLE --Arkansas scored 23 points off of 26 Vanderbilt turnovers, as the Razorbacks demolished the Commodores at Bud Walton Arena, 56-33. Vanderbilt falls to 6-8 and 0-2 in the SEC. Arkansas is now 10-5 and 1-1 in the SEC.

Vanderbilt had its worst shooting performance of the modern era, hitting just 10 of 40 shots, including just two of 16 3-pointers. The Commodores made just three buckets in the entire first half. With nine minutes remaining in the game, Vanderbilt had more turnovers than points.

Arkansas was led by junior Marshawn Powell, who played all 40 minutes of the game. Powell scored 17 points, making eight of nine shots, hit his only 3 point attempt, and pulled down a team-high six rebounds. B.J. Young scored 14.

Arkansas was averaging over 80 points per game coming into tonight's contest, and at times seemed to rush shots and force passes that were not there. But because Vanderbilt simply could not run its offense against Arkansas' full court trap, the Razorbacks were never threatened.

No Commodore player got double figures. Freshman Sheldon Jeter scored a team-high eight points, Rod Odom scored five (including one of VU's two 3s), and Kyle Fuller, Kevin Bright and James Siakam all had four.

Josh Henderson started for VU but was benched in the second half. Henderson had two points and four turnovers.

Vanderbilt's leading scorer, Kedren Johnson, was 0-for-3 from the field, and scored all three of his season-low points from the free throw line. Johnson suffered a shoulder injury with eight minutes remaining and did not return. Johnson had a large ice pack on his right shoulder and was wincing in pain while sitting on the bench.

Of note, freshman A.J. Astroth played a season-high 14 minutes and had four rebounds.

Also of note, Shelby Moats was the only Vanderbilt player that did not have at least one turnover. Moats also had VU's only other 3-pointer.

"It is very disappointing," said Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings. "I did not think that our competitive nature came very close to what, we exhibited on Saturday [versus Kentucky]. We played hard defensively and tried to defend and that's a good thing or we'd have lost by 60. We were not tough with the ball and not calm with the ball and not composed with it.

"It was really disappointing to me that we did not compete well."

Despite the pathetic offensive output in the first half, Vanderbilt went into halftime down just 10 points. But the team's inability to take care of the ball quickly turned what was a relatively close game into a blowout.

"I would say of the 14 first half turnover we had only two or three were caused by great defensive play,"said Stallings. "The rest were bad offense. To think that we held them to 21 after turning it over 14 times, that's the most remarkable thing of the day. You turn the ball over 14 you should have 45."

But Stallings, who spent considerably more time after the game in the locker room than usual, said his team failed to do even the most basic things to make a game of it.

"Without being too specific we had some guys who...just...it was very disappointing. We had guys shooting air balls...guys have been playing their whole lives and waiting for a spot to play, and they do that."

It was the second time Vanderbilt had scored just 33 points in a game this season. The Commodores lost to Marist 50-33 on November 23.

Vanderbilt returns to Nashville to face Ole Miss on Tuesday.

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