BATON ROUGE, La. (UofA) – In a tough fought battle, the University of Arkansas
Men's basketball team fell to LSU, 71 to 65, in Pete Maravich Assembly
Center despite sophomore Mardreacus Wade's 15 points.
The loss takes the Razorbacks to 16-7 on the year and 4-4 in Southeastern Conference play while LSU improves to 13-9 overall and 3-5 in league action.
A four-point game at the break, LSU came out and quickly erased Arkansas' momentum going into the half as it scored the first six points to move its lead back to 10. Freshman Rashad Madden came off the bench to drop in the Razorbacks' first points on a 16-foot jumper at 16:21 of the period and an LSU turnover gave the ball back to the Razorbacks at the first media timeout.
Undeterred by the fast LSU start, Arkansas outscored the Tigers 8-2 over the next four minutes to pull within two at the 11:36 mark of the second half. Arkansas got within one with just over nine minutes to play, but a pair of LSU baskets on the interior gave the home squad a five-point lead once more.
Arkansas and LSU would trade baskets over the next four minutes with the Tigers maintaining a six-point lead at the final media timeout. The Razorback defense did a solid job, but could not make up for the turnovers on offense.
"I am disappointed," Arkansas Head Coach Mike Anderson said. "I thought we were in attack mode, but turnovers were a big key."
Turnovers plagued the Razorbacks over the opening half as they gave the ball up 10 times which led to 15 LSU points over the first 20 minutes. If it had not been for near perfect shooting at the free throw line, 11-of-12, Arkansas' deficit could have been greater. Down by as many as 11 with 4:25 left in the half, the Razorbacks' used a signature run to close out the period. Playing tough on-the-ball defense and getting five free throws over the final 3:12, Arkansas outscored the home team 9-2 which included a BJ Young layup at the buzzer to go into the locker room down by just four, 35-31.
The second half began with a run by the Tigers in which the Razorbacks could never gain the momentum they needed to take the lead. The Razorbacks had nine more turnovers in the second half bringing their total to 19 for the game, while only forcing the Tigers to 16 turnovers.
"I give LSU credit, they fought and scratched, got the job done and made big plays down the stretch," Anderson said. "I can't fault our effort though, I thought the effort was there, just not the execution."
Wade led the team with 15 points and two assists. Madden (14) and Julysses Nobles (10) also scored in double figures for the Razorbacks. That was not enough to take down the Tigers on their home court with the Tigers having four players in double figures.
The Razorbacks stay out on the road for their next game, a Wednesday night showdown with the Georgia Bulldogs in Athens, Ga.