Tigers guard Antonio Hudson, just 3 of 13 from the field and 1 of 6 from 3-point range, missed the potential game-tying shot from about three feet behind the arc at the top of the key.
"We wanted Hudson coming off a stagger (double screen), but one of the screens was not as good as you'd like," LSU coach John Brady said. "But Hudson had just made one (a 3-pointer), and we thought we could get him another one."
Hudson had a different version.
"That was not really the main play," he said. "It kind of got screwed up. We were going to bring Brandon Bass off a screen and then bring Darrel Mitchell out of the stagger for the shot from the top of the key. I don't know who screwed it up, but it didn't happen like that."
So LSU went to Plan B.
"Right before the timeout was over, Coach Brady said, ‘If you have to, make a play,'" Hudson said.
LSU guard Darrel Mitchell confirmed Hudson's version.
"The play was for me, but right before the timeout was over, Coach said, ‘Someone may just have to make a play.'" Mitchelll said. "We tried to make a play, but fell short."
Hudson glanced at a reporter's stat sheet and said, "I was 1 of 6 (on 3-point tries) and Darrel was 2 of 8. We take that on our shoulders. This is a familiar conversation after road games."
Brady said the last shot wasn't the issue. ("If you think it is, you're wrong," he told a Louisiana reporter.)
The Tigers, 1-4 on the Southeastern Conference road, had lost their three previous SEC road games by an average of 22.7 points.
"We made progress," Brady said.
Glen "Big Baby" Davis, who had 11 points and 7 rebounds for LSU, agreed.
"A couple of weeks ago, we'd have lost this game by 30," Davis said. "You've got to be tough to play away. We showed some character."
But LSU struggled with a 5-of-19 shooting day behind the arc, while Jonathon Modica was 4-of-7 from long range for Arkansas.
Tack Minor, a 5-foot-11 sophomore guard for LSU who once scored 72 points in a high school game for Houston Booker T. Washington, played just five minutes in the second half after leading his team with 12 points in the first half.
"He hurt his leg a little, but that was a coaching decision," Brady said. "I thought Xavier Whipple was playing well and we weren't turning the ball over. I thought Whipple was executing for us."
Whipple did not score in 23 minutes but had 6 assists and 1 turnover. Minor, also in 23 minutes, had 14 points, 1 assist and 2 turnovers.
"In the second half, defensively we were very, very good," Brady said. "We executed down the stretch, but missed some opportunities to score a few more baskets. Give Arkansas credit. They made a couple of plays and a couple of shots. I've always liked Modica as a player."
Brady added that he was surprised Modica had averaged just 20 minutes of playing time per game.
"It's none of my business, but I think he's a winner," Brady said. "Now he's figured out that Arkansas plays better when he plays 30 minutes."
Jokingly, Brady took credit for helping Arkansas draw its sixth largest crowd to Bud Walton Arena -- 20,273.
Former UA coach Nolan Richardson once called Brady a "fly-by-night" coach, but now Brady, 50, is third in the SEC in coaching tenure (eight years) and third in LSU coaching wins with 132.
When UA students roundly booed Brady as he stepped onto the court before the game, an LSU radio announcer called to him, "They love you, Baby."
Brady shook his head slightly and allowed himself a slight Jack Nicholson grin.
Brady had wanted LSU to keep Hogs guard Ronnie Brewer from getting too involved in the UA offense, but Brewer still scored 16 first-half points.
"In the second half we made Brewer more uncomfortable," Brewer said. "At the end, I thought we missed better shots than Arkansas made."
Mitchell noted, "Both games against Arkansas this year were hard-fought. We got up on them at Baton Rouge and they came back, and today they got up on us and we came back. We just missed four or five open looks at the end."
Davis said, "Arkansas was more focused in their home atmosphere today. They did a better job of boxing me and Bass out. We only had one offensive rebound each. We knew Arkansas was going to focus. They took it personal."
Hudson's Improvised Shot Misses For LSU
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