Qualls’ three-pointer helps Hogs edge Commodores

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Arkansas picked up its second road win of the season but not before it blew another late lead outside the friendly confines of Bud Walton Arena.

Sophomore Michael Qualls’ three-pointer with 2.6 seconds left lifted the Arkansas men’s basketball team to a dramatic 77-75 SEC road win at Vanderbilt on Saturday at Memorial Gymnasium.

After leading by nine, 68-59, with under nine minutes to play, the Razorbacks found themselves down three, 71-68, with under three to play. Arkansas turned to its leading scorer in SEC play junior Ky Madden, who knocked down a three to tie the score at 71-71 and followed with a jumper two possessions later to tie the game at 73-73.

Arkansas proceeded to get a much-needed stop at the defensive end and took the lead the next time down the floor as senior Coty Clarke hit one of two free throws to give the Razorbacks at 74-73 edge and start a wild final 25 seconds.

Following a timeout, the Commodores got the ball into the hands of senior Kyle Fuller who got into the paint and drew the two-shot foul. Fuller, who finished with 20 points and five assists, calmly sank both shots to give the lead back to Vanderbilt, 75-74, with 11 seconds to play.

Arkansas went to its hot hand, as Madden penetrated Vanderbilt’s 2-3 zone, drawing defenders before passing the ball to Qualls in the left corner for his third three-pointer of the game and a 77-75 lead.

Following a length-of-the-floor pass that was deflected out-of-bounds by Arkansas, Vanderbilt was able to get off a game-winning shot off a side out-of-bounds play with 1.4 seconds left, but Rod Odom’s three was off the mark.

Qualls led Arkansas with 17 points off the bench followed by 14 from Madden, as Arkansas (15-8, 4-6) snapped a seven-game road losing streak and put an end to Vanderbilt’s (13-9, 5-5) four-game win streak.