FAYETTEVILLE – Jimmy Whitt Jr. scored a career-high 30 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead Arkansas to a 75-55 victory over Vanderbilt Wednesday night at Bud Walton Arena. The Razorbacks improve to 14-2 overall, 3-1 in the SEC.
Reggie Chaney (6-of-6 from the field and 2-of-2 at the line) tied his career-high with 14 points while Desi Sills contributed 13 points and a career-high seven rebounds.
Whitt’s career-high 30 points were unexpected as the game featured three of the top 10 scorers in the SEC, Arkansas’ Mason Jones (#2 in scoring in the SEC) and Isaiah Joe (#4) as well as Vanderbilt’s Saben Lee (#10).
All three went scoreless in the first half.
– Lee scored his first points, a dunk and free throw, at 17:24 of the second half. Lee finished with 17 points.
– Joe made his first basket, a deep 3-pointer at 16:47. Joe would make back-to-back 3-pointers for a 10-point Razorback lead (43-33). Joe finished with 12 points.
– Jones’ first point came on free throw at 5:35. Up to that point, Jones did have seven assists and he finished with eight, one shy of his career high (set the previous game at Ole Miss).
After Lee’s first points, and old-fashion 3-point play at 17:24, the Commodores got to within four (37-33). However, that is as close as they would get. Arkansas got the back-to-back 3-pointers from Joe to lead by 10 and held a double-digit advantage the rest of the way.
Whitt, who attempted his first 3-pointer of the season as the buzzer sounded to end the first half, made 14 (of 24) shots to set an Arkansas record for most field goals made by a Razorback guard in the 3-point era. Four of his 14 makes were dunks. Earlier this season, Whitt set a record for most points by a Razorback guard (24) without attempting a 3-pointer.
Arkansas stays home to host #10 Kentucky on Saturday . The sold-out Kentucky game is set to begin at 3 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN.
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