LSU 63, Arkansas 58

Arkansas suffers through a big-time cold stretch and LSU walks away with a 63-58 win before a season-high crowd of 18,689 Wednesday night at Bud Walton Arena.

Different year, same problem.

True freshman Tasmin Mitchell had 19 points and redshirt freshman Tyrus Thomas 13 points and 14 rebounds as LSU took advantage of a long field goal drought by Arkansas to walk out with a 63-58 SEC road win over the Razorbacks Wednesday night before a season's best crowd of 18,689 fans.

"Our guys are very disappointed," Arkansas head coach Stan Heath said. "We started off well pushing the ball and rebounding. Then the game slowed down, which hurt us. We knew coming into this game that LSU was a very good team. They handled the pressure well and didn't turn the ball over."

The Razorbacks grabbed a 12-point lead midway in the first half only to find themselves down by 10 after intermission.

That happened during a stretch where they made only one field goal as 15 minutes of game clock time and LSU outscored them by a whopping 30-6.

Ronnie Brewer had 16 points, Darian Townes 14 points and 8 rebounds and Eric  Ferguson 10 for Arkansas (11-4, 0-2), who lost for the second straight time in SEC play after riding a nine-game winning streak into league play.

Jonathon Modica added 7 points and Steven Hill had six blocks - four of them on Davis' shots - but Dontell Jefferson was held scoreless for the second straight game.

"We just started missing shots, that's as simple as it is," Brewer said. "Their guys stepped up and made plays."

LSU (9-5, 1-0), who had lost its five games by a total of 12 points, won the game despite not hitting a 3-pointer for the first time in over 260 games and with stars Glen Davis (12 points, 10 rebounds) and Daryl Mitchell (3 points) going a combined 8-of-33 from the field.

"Arkansas is the best place in the SEC to play whether you're the home team or visitors like us coming," LSU head coach John Brady said. "We always seem to play well here."

The Tigers won their second game in five tries in stretch that had seen the Tigers lose to Cincinnati (75-72) in Las Vegas, at Ohio State (78-76), beat Tulane (75-58) and lose at UConn (67-66).

"This was a big win for us on the road," Tasmin Mitchell said. "It's a new season for us. The good teams we played earlier in the season helped us tonight."

Like in those last three losses, LSU - which outrebounded Arkansas 44-34 - got a double digit lead but this time held off its foe.

"I am really proud of what our team was able to do tonight," Brady said. "This was good for our team to execute down the stretch and take care of the ball. This is a great team win that I feel is extremely deserved."

But the win came just barely when - after LSU led by six with 90 seconds left in the game - Brewer swished a 3-pointer and Ferguson scored on a drive after an LSU turnover to cut it to 59-58 with 59 seconds remaining.

Mitchell gave his team a 61-58 lead with 29.7 seconds left when he scored on an inbounds play after a loose ball resulted in a jump two second earlier.

Arkansas, which 41 percent from the field and just 54.5 percent from the line, called a timeout only to see Davis steal a pass and eventually end up having a chance to put the game away with 6.5 seconds left.

"They ended up switching men and (Glen Davis) made a great defensive play," Brewer said. "The play was not necessarily to get a three, just a good look at the basket."

He missed, but Dontell Jefferson was fouled and missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and Tasmin Mitchell capped the scoring with a pair of free throws with two seconds left.

The Razorbacks looked to be on the verge of blowing out LSU, taking a 26-14 lead on Cyrus McGowan's rebound slam at the 9:49 mark, but would not make another field goal for over 7 minutes and just one the entire rest of the half.

During that time Arkansas' only points came on a pair of free throws by Brewer and LSU methodically worked its way back to take a lead.

That occurred on Davis' old-fashioned 3-point play with 2:42 left in the first half, which capped a 16-2 run by the Tigers and put them up 30-29.

Brewer's tip-in with 2:18 left before intermission broke the field goal drought and regained his team the lead, but Tasmin Mitchell cashed in a free throw and Darnell Lazare tipped one end.

Brewer's free throw with 11.2 seconds brought his team within 32-31, but he missed the second.

LSU started the second half continuing its push, coming out of the break by scoring 12 of the second half's first 13 points and grabbing a 44-32 on Tasmin Mitchell's basket with just under 15 minutes left.

"We huddled up and talked about it," Thomas said of when his team was trailing by 12. We figured if other teams could do that then we could come back, too."

Arkansas was 4-of-11 from beyond the 3-point line with Ferguson hitting a pair, Brewer one and freshman Sean McCurdy (3 points, 4 assists in 10 minutes) It was the first loss at home this season for Arkansas in nine games, who joins Auburn as the only SEC Western Division teams without a league win.

The Razorbacks will return to action on Saturday at 2 p.m. when they host Vanderbilt (11-2, 2-0), fresh off a road win at Kentucky.

"We're going to get out of this hole," Townes said. "We can't let this loss hurt us. We've got to protect our home and we let this one get away. It's very disappointing."

Arkansas center Steven Hill goes in for a slam dunk during Wednesday's Arkansas-LSU game.

A frustrated UA head coach Stan Heath looks on during his team's 63-58 loss to visiting LSU on Wednesday night.

A season-high crowd of 18,689 fans came to Bud Walton Arena on Wednesday night.

Hawgs Daily Top Stories