Baton Rouge (KAIT) – Courtney Fortson scored 18 points to lead the Arkansas men's basketball team on Wednesday night including the final 13 for the Razorbacks, but turnovers and poor shooting proved to be a deadly combination as Arkansas fell 65-54 in Baton Rouge, LA
Arkansas (14-14, 7-6 SEC) turned the ball over 21 times in the loss and shot just 34 percent for the game. LSU (10-17, 1-12 SEC) picks up its first Southeastern Conference win of the season.
"LSU played better than we did tonight," Arkansas head coach John Pelphrey said. "You have to give them credit. Turnovers really hurt us and not just the turnovers, but the turnovers that led to baskets for them. It was not a good shooting night for us."
The Razorbacks' night started out rough as they didn't score their first basket until past the 16 minute mark in the first half. Arkansas opened the game 1-7 from the field, 0-5 from three-point range and turned the ball over five times allowing LSU to jump out to a 13-2 lead at the 13:51 mark. Arkansas' shooting did not get much better throughout the first half as it scored a season low 18 points over the opening 20 minutes led by Delvon Johnson who tallied five.
Arkansas' second half started well as the Hogs scored seven quick points to close the gap, but a scoring lull allowed LSU to regain its 15-point lead and increase it to 17 by the second media timeout. The Razorbacks continued to struggle with their shot as they landed just 24 percent for the game to that point.
The final minutes of the game saw Arkansas mount a strong comeback as the three-point basket that wouldn't fall started to find nylon. The Razorbacks would end up outscoring the Tigers, 36-32 in the final 20 minutes, but 22 percent shooting in the first half and a 15-point hole proved too much to overcome for the Hogs.
Behind Fortson's 18 points, just one other Arkansas players scored in double figures, Rotnei Clarke with 14. Johnson and Clarke led the Razorbacks in rebounds with five each. Tasmin Mitchell was LSU's leading scorer with 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Tigers.