Dores Get it Done

Scotty Pippen Jr. scores 22 as Vandy beats Arkansas to start SEC play with a victory

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Scotty Pippen Jr. scored 22 points and Vanderbilt ended Arkansas’ 16-game home winning streak with a 75-74 victory Tuesday at Bud Walton Arena.

The Commodores (9-4, 1-0 SEC) won their SEC opener for the first time since 2016 and have now won four straight for the first time since 2018. They return home to host South Carolina (9-4, 0-1 SEC) at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Vanderbilt held a 64-62 lead with less than four minutes to play. With 2:01 on the clock, Pippen extended that lead to 69-65 with a fadeaway, mid-range jumper from the left baseline.

A little more than one minute later Rodney Chatman buried a 3-pointer from the left corner to put the visitors ahead 74-68. Arkansas missed what would have been a go-ahead 3-pointer with 11 seconds to play and then another final shot as time expired.

Trey Thomas added 15 points – all on made 3s – for Vanderbilt while Jordan Wright scored 12, grabbed six rebounds and dished out four assists. Chatman added 11.

Vandy had dropped seven in a row in the series against Arkansas (10-4, 0-2 SEC) before Tuesday and the Razorbacks had been 8-0 at home this season as well as 24-1 in their last 25 home games. Vanderbilt had last won in Fayetteville, Arkansas, on Feb. 7, 2017.

Myles Stute began Tuesday’s affair by draining a pair of 3s within the first four minutes to help Vanderbilt lead 9-7 at the 16:13 mark. A four-point play from Pippen followed by a tough Wright runner allowed the Commodores to enjoy a 15-10 lead.

Arkansas answered with a 9-2 run before Pippen’s layup knotted the score at 19-all. The Razorbacks got a steal and layup minutes later from Jaylin Williams and then a JD Notae triple to surge ahead 28-22.

Vandy went nearly four minutes without a point, a spell broken by Terren Frank’s jumper. Notae responded immediately on the other end with consecutive buckets of his own making it 40-35.

The Razorbacks would settle for a 40-35 lead at the break. They shot 62.5 percent from the field and senior guard Stanley Umude was nearly unstoppable in the first half – he scored 18 points on 8 of 9 shooting.

Wright scored six straight to begin the second half in helping the Dores crawl back in front at 41-40. Chatman’s left-corner triple at the 16:42 mark put Vandy up 46-44.

Arkansas went on a 7-1 run from there only to see the Commodores respond with six in a row, including a reverse layup from Pippen making it a 51-47 game in favor of the visitors.

Thomas kept that four-point lead intact with a falling-away 3 putting Vandy up 61-57 with 7:08 to go. The sophomore splashed another less than 90 seconds later coming off a curl to make it 64-59.

That shot set up the final and thrilling few minutes.

Umude led Arkansas with 28 points while Au’Diese Toney added 20.

  • Pippen moved into 43rd on Vanderbilt’s all-time scoring list with 1,080 career points. Bruce Elder (1,086) is 42nd.
  • The Commodores have now forced 14 turnovers or more in nine games this season.
  • Thomas has now played in 38 straight games for the Commodores.
  • Wright has started 28 straight games for Vanderbilt.