Vanderbilt pulls shocker, upends Arkansas

Ezra Manjon scored 22 points Tuesday night and Vanderbilt held on down the stretch to post an 85-82 Southeastern Conference win over Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark.Tyrin Lawrence added 21 for the Co

Vanderbilt pulls shocker, upends Arkansas

Ezra Manjon scored 22 points Tuesday night and Vanderbilt held on down the stretch to post an 85-82 Southeastern Conference win over Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark.

Tyrin Lawrence added 21 for the Commodores (8-20, 3-12 SEC), who won a true road game for the first time this season. Ven-Allen Lubin chipped in 19 points on 9 of 10 field goal shooting and added a game-high 12 rebounds. Paul Lewis came off the bench to hit for 11 points.

Khalif Battle pumped in a game-high 36 points for the Razorbacks (14-14, 5-10), a game after scoring a career-high 42 in a win over Missouri.

El Ellis added 19 points and Tramon Mark 15 but it wasn’t enough to prevent arguably the Razorbacks’ worst SEC loss of the season. They allowed Vanderbilt to sink 50.9 percent from the field and were outscored 44-26 on points in the paint.

Battle’s 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds left pulled Arkansas within 83-82, but Manjon drilled two foul shots with 3.5 seconds remaining. Mark had a chance to force overtime, but his 3-pointer from the left wing banged off the rim at the horn.

On paper, it looked like a late-season gift from the schedule-maker for Arkansas. Ranked in the Top 25 at season’s beginning, the Razorbacks entered the night needing to run the table and do some damage in the SEC Tournament to have a chance.

And they got off to a 7-0 start, with Battle picking up where he left off Saturday by scoring five quick points. The margin reached 20-10 at the 12:46 mark on a 3-pointer by Jeremiah Davenport. It looked like an easy Arkansas win.

Until it wasn’t. Vanderbilt controlled the half’s remainder as coach Jerry Stackhouse switched to a zone defense and the Razorbacks missed 16 of their last 17 shots.

When Manjon popped a straightaway 17-footer just before time expired, the Commodores owned a 35-31 lead at the break.