Busted Flat In Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Arkansas thought the streak was over.

Tack Minor's halfcourt heave fell short, the scoreboard read Arkansas 59, LSU 58, and the Razorbacks started running off the floor, led by coach Stan Heath.

Game over, right?

Not hardly.

The officials overruled a called 3-pointer by Mike Jones, sending Arkansas to an extra period where the Tigers won a free-throw battle and claimed their second straight overtime win, this one 66-63 against the Razorbacks (13-5, 1-4 Southeastern Conference), who saw their SEC road losing streak reach 12 games in heart-breaking fashion Wednesday night.

Jones' shot from the top of the key with Arkansas down 58-56 was good with 1.8 seconds remaining, but official Tom Eades initially ruled Jones had his toe on the 3-point line, while another official in front of the Arkansas bench threw his hands up for a 3-pointer.

After Minor's shot fell short, the officials repeatedly reviewed the play while fighting off hard campaigning from Heath, LSU coach John Brady and a crowd of 7,411 in the Maravich Assembly Center.

They eventually determined there was not enough evidence to give Jones three points and Arkansas the win.

"When I made the call on the floor, it was originally a two," said Eades in a statement. "We went to the replay to be sure. It was inconclusive and didn't show us his foot was not on the line."

When handed a copy of Eades' statement a few minutes into his postgame press conference, Heath shook his head in amazement, slammed his hands down on the metal table and stormed out muttering something about "a joke."

The repeated replays on LSU's video screen sent the crowd and the LSU bench into a tizzy when it appeared Jones slid his pivot foot back in order to get behind the line.

Shouts that Jones was behind the line turned into screams for a travel from the fans and Brady.

"I thought it was clearly a 3," Heath said. "Ten thousand other people saw it and started yelling, 'Travel!' They didn't even want to fight the 3-pointer.

"They wanted the referees to call a travel. Same with coach Brady. We all felt when you looked at the big board, it was the right call. "

Brady said he felt the call was a compromise because the officials saw Jones travel, but that is not a reviewable call.

Jones refused to blame the loss on the final call, saying the game "should have never come to that point."

Arkansas, which led by five twice in the second half, held a 56-54 lead with 92 seconds remaining, but 6-foot-9, 320-pound freshman Glen "Big Baby" Davis made a series of game-changing plays in the closing moments of regulation and in overtime to give LSU (9-5, 2-1) the win.

Davis, who had game-highs with 26 points and 18 rebounds, snared an Antonio Hudson miss for one of his seven offensive boards and scored for a 56-all tie with 45.4 seconds left.

Arkansas ran the clock down and got a baseline jumper from Ronnie Brewer, whose miss was snagged by Olu Famutimi.

Davis rejected Famutimi's putback attempt, grabbed the rebound and threw a touchdown pass to Hudson for the go-ahead basket with 10.8 seconds to play.

LSU used its foul to give with 5.1 seconds left and Arkansas drew up the play for Jones, who made his first start of the season and scored 15 points on 6 of 10 shooting.

Jones came off the screen and had to pump fake and step back, but got the shot away and made it, leading to the final confusing moments.

Davis and Brewer traded a pair of free throw makes early in the overtime, but Arkansas would miss four of its next five, including the front end of a one-and-one by Eric Ferguson and two by Rashard Sullivan that could have given Arkansas a 62-61 lead with 1:17 to play.

LSU, meanwhile, hit 4 of 5 free throws and Davis blocked Ferguson's layup attempt with 6.9 seconds left with LSU leading 64-63 to leave Arkansas out of chances.

Jones cited Arkansas' 42-29 disadvantage in rebounds and its poor foul shooting down the stretch as the real reasons Arkansas lost the game.

"Legal shot or illegal shot, we had opportunities to win the game," Jones said.

After shooting 51 percent in the first 40 minutes, Arkansas was 0 of 7 from the field in overtime, scoring all its points on 5 of 9 free throws.

"The big difference in the game, obviously, is our commitment to improving free-throw shooting as a team has got to rise," Heath said. "We've got to have our guys see the value. It's such an important phase of the game. They have to do more outside of practice to really be ready.

"Our rebounding was a big key in the game. They did a good job. Glen Davis was, I mean he's a load. You just don't see many kids that size who can do those things."

After giving up an 11-0 run midway through the first half and trailing 22-10, Arkansas reeled off a 16-2 run to take the lead, keyed by a nice sequence from Dontell Jefferson, who had been missing in action with 14 minutes combined in his last two games.

After a long miss from Davis on a 3-pointer, Jefferson pushed it up and scored over Davis, then made a steal and hit two free throws to cut the lead to six.

Brewer, who led Arkansas with 17 points on 5 of 12 shooting, came up with another steal and hit Jefferson streaking downcourt again for a layup to cut the LSU lead to 22-18.

Jones hit a 3, Brewer scored off a Jefferson steal and then hit a 3-pointer to put Arkansas in front 26-24.

LSU fought back with four free throws and a Davis stickback at the buzzer to lead 30-26 at the half and expanded the lead to eight moments into the second half.

Then Famutimi, who had no points in the first half after not starting for the first time this season, got hot.

He scored 13 points in a seven-minute stretch, including 3 of 3 from the 3-point line. He scored eight straight points to get Arkansas within 40-36, tied the score at 44 with a 3 and answered a Darrel Mitchell 3 with one of his own to give Arkansas a 52-47 lead with 6:05 to play.

Arkansas pushed the ball relentlessly while LSU ran nearly every possession under 10 seconds on the shot clock. The Razorbacks pushed the ball off makes, misses and steals, scoring 21 points off 15 LSU turnovers.

The commitment to pushing the ball gave Arkansas the intensity it lacked in its 80-55 loss at No. 19 Mississippi State on Saturday, but the Razorbacks did not lack for passion on Wednesday.

"I feel for my players," Heath said. "They really responded from our last game. They executed tremendously."

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