It’s been a roller-coaster season for the Razorback basketball team this year. Unfortunately for Hog fans, the train is at the bottom of the tracks right now.
Arkansas lost its third straight SEC game on Saturday, this time at home to the Vanderbilt Commodores 89-72. The Hogs fell to 14-15 on the year, and after a 7-3 start to conference play, Arkansas’ SEC record is now even at 7-7.
Freshman forward Marshawn Powell scored 27 points to lead the Hogs, and Rotnei Clarke added 14 in the losing effort.
The Commodores came into the game in second place in the stacked SEC East conference, and ranked ranked #16 in the nation in the AP Top 25.
Vanderbilt was also coming off a hard fought overtime win versus Georgia less than 48 hours prior to the game on Saturday. The Commodores showed no signs of fatigue against the Razorbacks, however.
Arkansas, on the other hand, looks like a team that has lost its swagger.
The Hogs struggles on defense continued on Saturday. Vanderbilt shot over 65% from the field in the first half, and over 50% for the game.
Turnovers have been an issue of late for the Hogs as well. After a 21 turnover performance against LSU last week, the Hogs opened the game on Saturday with three straight turnovers on their first three possessions.
Next up, Arkansas travels to Tennessee to take on a Volunteer team that just knocked off the #2 team in the nation in Kentucky on Saturday. After that, Ole Miss comes to Bud Walton Arena for a showdown that will determine second place, and a first round bye in the SEC tournament.
The Tennessee game tips off at 6:00 pm on Wednesday in Knoxville, and will be televised by CSS.
Mike Wash returns
He wasn’t 100%, but Mike Washington returned to the Arkansas lineup against Vanderbilt to score 11 points and grab 13 rebounds despite visibly limping on the court because of an ankle injury. Washington injured the ankle last week, causing him to miss Arkansas’ game against LSU last Wednesday.
Vanderbilt’s star center A.J. Ogilvy played just 14 minutes against Arkansas because of foul trouble. Ogilvy was also assessed a technical foul when he and Arkansas freshman Marshawn Powell exchanged words, and a few pushes in the second half. Both players were charged with technical fouls in the exchange.
Rotnei on Thurman’s heels
Sophomore guard Rotnei Clarke is just 7 three-point baskets away from tying Scotty Thurman’s single season record of 102. Clarke has made 95 three-pointers this season, good enough for third all time by a Razorback in a single season.
Arkansas has struggled mightily on the defensive end of the court over their three-game losing streak. Arkansas is second to last in the SEC in team defense, allowing over 73 points a game to their opponents, and the Hogs are in dead last in 3 point field goal percentage allowed, with opponents shooting over 37% from the three-point line against the Hogs.