Gafford scores 28, Arkansas rallies past Vanderbilt 69-66

Arkansas past Kent State

By CHIP SOUZA ,  Associated Press

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Daniel Gafford scored 28 points to lead Arkansas to its fourth straight SEC win 69-66 over Vanderbilt on Tuesday night.

Arkansas (14-8, 5-4) rallied from a 10-point deficit late in the first half to hand the Commodores (9-13, 0-9) their ninth consecutive loss.

Vanderbilt led 28-18 on Aaron Nesmith’s pull-up jump shot from the lane with under four minutes left in the first half before Arkansas freshman Isaiah Joe went on a 3-point scoring barrage. Joe ended a three-minute stretch for the Razorbacks without a field goal with 2:57 left in the first half and drained four 3-pointers to pull Arkansas within 35-34 at halftime. Joe finished with 18 points.

Gafford, who was making just 57 percent of his free throws coming into the game, kept Arkansas in the game early by hitting 8-of-9 from the free-throw line in the first half.

The Razorbacks raced to a nine-point lead midway through the second half, then saw the lead evaporate as Vanderbilt’s Joe Toye hit three 3-pointers to help the Commodores go on a 12-2 run to retake the lead.

Vanderbilt’s last lead came with under a minute left when Toye, who had 18 points, hit his fourth 3-pointer of the second half for a 66-64 lead.

Arkansas answered on a clutch 3-pointer from Keyshawn Embery-Simpson and Mason Jones added two free throws with under 10 seconds left.

UP NEXT Vanderbilt: The Commodores will host Alabama at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Arkansas: The Razorbacks are at South Carolina on Saturday, the first of three of the next four games on the road. Tip off is set for 12:30 p.m.