The Vanderbilt Hustler: “It rallied us”: Manjon’s ejection sparks in-game, potentially season-saving turnaround
The wildest number from Vanderbilt’s win over Arkansas on Saturday: Vanderbilt attempted 36 free throws to Arkansas’s 24.
Yes, even with Arkansas being awarded seven free throws by the referees late in the first half after Arkansas’s Anthony Black got an and-1, stood over Quentin Millora-Brown appearing to be raedy to Laettner him, then gotten shoved in the back by Ezra Manjon (who was ejected from the game) and Jerry Stackhouse picked up a technical foul for good measure when he learned that no Arkansas player would be assessed any penalty.
Then, Black decided to taunt the Vanderbilt bench afterward. The referees swallowed their whistles.
At that point, it looked like the referees were in the tank for Arkansas — but then a funny thing happened. Early in the second half, Black drove to the basket, missed a layup, and Vanderbilt’s Liam Robbins grabbed the rebound — and then shoved Black to the deck when he went for the ball, and no foul was called, while Robbins drew what sounded like the loudest cheer that’s been heard in Memorial Gym since the Kevin Stallings era. (The referees did review this play at the monitor a couple of plays later, but assessed no penalty.) Black may not have been assessed a technical for taunting the Vanderbilt bench — but it seems that he forfeited the protection of the officials at that point.
Black shot 1-of-7 from the floor, 0-for-2 from the foul line, and committed four turnovers in the second half. Karma is fun.
- Nobody had a bad game, which is how you score 97 points on Arkansas.
- This might have been Tyrin Lawrence’s best game in a Vanderbilt uniform; it legitimately appeared that Arkansas’s players did not realize he was left-handed.
- Myles Stute’s jump shot still isn’t falling, but he did a lot of other things well on Saturday.
- Liam Robbins was limited to 18 minutes (and just one minute in the first half) thanks to foul trouble, but he was extremely effective while on the floor. What I’m not sure about is why Jordan Wright played just 23 minutes.
- Trey Thomas finally got jump shots to fall! (The one miss from three was clearly a heat check.)
Vanderbilt hosts Alabama at 7:30 PM on Tuesday night. Now that would be a season-changing win if it happened. On the other hand, Alabama just beat LSU by 40...