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Weems, Arkansas end Vanderbilt's winning streak

Mar 2, 2008 - 3:02 AM FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas (Ticker) -- Hot-shooting helped Arkansas get a much-needed victory.

Sonny Weems scored 20 points and Patrick Beverley added 17 and seven rebounds as the Razorbacks ended No. 14 Vanderbilt's seven-game winning streak with a 78-73 victory in Southeastern Conference action on Saturday.

Gary Ervin had 13 points and seven assists and Darian Townes also scored 13 for the Razorbacks (19-9, 8-6 SEC West), who had lost four of five coming into the game.

"We played with great heart and toughness against a really good basketball team," Arkansas coach John Pelphrey said. "We had good defense all the way through the game. Nobody hung their head if they didn't get a rebound, they just kept on fighting."

Arkansas shot 58 percent (28-of-48) from the field and made 9-of-16 shots from the arc for the game to help defeat Vanderbilt for the fourth straight time.

Vanderbilt, which was coming off a 72-69 victory over No. 1 Tennessee on Tuesday, trailed by four points at the break before rallying to take the lead.

"(Arkansas) played very well, especially on the offensive end," Commodores coach Kevin Stallings said. "They made big plays, and more plays than our team at the end. They've got a lot of talent. We got some bad bounces today, some things went against us."

In a highly-energized second half, Vanderbilt went on an 11-2 run - keyed by six points from Shan Foster - to open up a 53-49 lead with 10:25 to play.

Arkansas responded and went back in front, 58-55, on a Charles Thomas' jumper and a layup by Townes. After Vanderbilt briefly took a one-point lead, Ervin's layup and two 3-pointers by Beverley helped push the Razorbacks' advantage to 69-65 with just under two minutes remaining.

The Commodores (24-5, 9-5 East) cut the deficit to one on three different occasions - the last coming on a pair of free throws by Jermaine Beal with seven seconds left, which trimmed the deficit to 74-73.

But senior Ross Neltner called a timeout that Vanderbilt didn't have, and Weems sank four free throws to seal the victory for Arkansas.

"It was a real good win for us today," Weems said. "Vanderbilt is a great team and they fought until the end, but I'm glad we were able to pull out the win."

Coach Stallings, however, was puzzled at the sequence with seven seconds to play.

"I truly do not know why we called a timeout," Stallings said. "I'm not exactly sure what happened."

The Razorbacks used a 16-2 run to take a 16-7 lead 7 1/2 minutes into the contest, and took their biggest lead at 40-28 on a Townes three-point play with 3:01 left before halftime.

But the Commodores closed the half strong, cutting the deficit to 40-36 at the break on a 3-pointer from Foster just four seconds before halftime.

Foster made 6-of-8 shots from the arc and finished with 22 points to lead Vanderbilt, which dropped to 4-5 on the road this season.

"The game didn't go down the way we wanted," Foster said. "They shot (64 percent) in the first half, so I have no doubt they are a hard team to compete against. We had a lot of plays that were not working with us throughout the whole game."