Eric Ferguson scored 19 points and Michael Jones added 16 to lead Arkansas to its first SEC victory of the season, 73-65, over Louisiana State before 15,104 Wednesday night at Bud Walton Arena.
The Hogs shot 49 percent from the field, 47.4 from 3-point land and 76.2 percent from the foul line to win their first SEC game in four outings this year. It was Stan Heath's first SEC victory. The Hogs are 6-9 overall. LSU is 12-4, and joins the Hogs at 1-3 in the SEC West.
LSU placed four players in double figures led by Antonio Hudson's 18 points. The Tigers forced 22 UA turnovers while committing just seven, but the Hogs dominated the rebounding, 44-22, led by eight from Wenbos Mukubu and 7 from Larry Satchell.
Arkansas took the lead for good with 14:46 left when Jonathon Modica broke a tie at 44 when he split a pair of foul shots. The Hogs led by as much as nine points, twice in the final two minutes.
Stan Heath held out Carl Baker for the entire game, and limited Pookie Modica and Kendrick Davis to 16 and 10 minutes, respectively, all in the second half after the trio missed curfew Friday night before the Georgia game. Heath said he didn't find out they had missed curfew until after the Georgia game.
At the outset, his decision was to suspend all three for a full game. The seniors talked him out of that and it was reduced to one half. Baker was available for the second half, too, but Heath decided that Jones and Eddins and others were playing too well.
"And, with a senior, I think it's worse," Heath said. "A senior ought to be a leader. Carl is a good kid, but he knows he made a mistake. He was available in the second half, but I decided not to use him."
Notes and Quotes:
The players voted unanimously to give Larry Satchell a game ball after Arkansas' 73-65 victory over LSU. Larry had 8 points, 7 rebounds and was 4 for 4 from the field. And, he seemed to be the inspiration from the bench after fouling out with 3:53 to play.
"Larry gets the game ball no question," Blake Eddins said. "He was the Larry Satchell I remember from AAU ball in the summers ... he scares the hell out of you. He owned the middle tonight."
Stan Heath said, "We haven't given game balls, but if that's what the guys want, then we need to probably start giving them. Larry was a big factor in this game. So was Blake Eddins. He gave us a lift, too. But, it was a team effort. We had a lot of guys contributing and that is what it is going to take.
"We've had some good practices and Larry's been practicing well. He works so hard. I told him tonight to go out there and play defense ... move your feet, keep your hands up and not just try to get three fouls and sit down. He played well. He patroled the middle for us like we need him to do."
Apparently, a couple of old Hogs helped out tonight, too. Mike Jones, who scored 16 points, said he benefited from some help on his footwork from Joe Kleine. And, Heath said the players gained inspiration from a pep talk Tuesday from Todd Day.
"Todd told them after practice yesterday about Razorback pride, how tough it's been for people to come in this place and get victories," Heath said. "I think the players responded to that."
Mike Jones said, "Joe Kleine worked with me on what kind of shot to work on in practice when I come in by myself, and how to make sure to get my feet set with balance. That's helping me. I give him credit for that."
Byron Boudreaux, the Hogs' big man coach, said Satchell deserves credit for hanging tough.
"He's been a team guy, someone who believes in his teammates and makes sure to help them," Boudreaux said. "In that respect, he's a special guy. Larry has mentored the young guys. His side always wins the rebounding games, what we call War. We just need him to give us what he did tonight each night and he might can do that. He's so much about team. War is about effort and heart and he's got that."
"That felt good," Stan Heath said. "I'm proud of the guys. We've struggled and it's an uphill climb that you don't think you are ever going to get to the top. It's easy to stay down, but they came to practice and worked and tried the things we asked them to do. I'm proud of them.
"Larry Satchell and Blake Eddins haven't played a lot and have not been a major factor for us this year, but they contributed in a big way. We couldn't have done it tonight without them. They hung in there and they got their rewards.
"I was pleased we got off to a good start. It didn't happen right away, but when it did and we started to generate some points, it was big for us. We attacked the basket. We were not passive. I thought Eric Ferguson attacked tonight and he wore down Toris Bright. That's what we need from Eric. He still had too many turnovers, but he got the ball to the rim and made some shots. I thought the matchup between Eric and Toris was a big factor in the game.
"This was a big victory. LSU is very good. This should give us some confidence. We can look at things different now as a team that can win some games now. Our players can walk around campus without hiding. They can feel some pride about being Razorbacks.
"Larry ... I'm thoroughly pleased with him. He stepped up and was vocal. He was helping me coach a little at the end, and I didn't mind. He's a seasoned tough guy. To the other guys, he's not a guy you want to not listen to because of the force he can be. I think they do listen to him. He's tough."
LSU tried to do it with six players, and tried to press, too. That is almost impossible, and the Tigers died in the second half.
The students in the Trough picked up on it. They started getting on Toris Bright, LSU's point guard who went all 40 minutes. They started asking him if he'd like a "Keystone Lite" down the stretch. He was tugging on his shorts during breaks with his tongue out. I think he would have liked a Keystone Lite.
It appeared LSU wanted to press the Hogs, but didn't have the manpower to pull it off.
"We expected them to pick us up, but I guess they couldn't do it like they wanted," Stan Heath said. "I think they did get tired."
Most laugh when they hear Blake Eddins talk. And, it was good to see him do well tonight. He talked to everyone in the place during the game. He entertained the refs, the guys at the scorer's table and anyone else who would listen.
Afterwards, he studied his line in the box score and said, "I was one rebound off to getting half of a triple double." Now that is a quote I'd never heard before.
And, yes, he had five points, five assists and four rebounds in his 15 minutes. Not bad. And, the quote was pretty good, too.
Arkansas is just one-half game back of Alabama in the SEC West. The Tide is 2-3. Hogs are 1-3, tied with LSU. All they need to do is get it going and win some games. You never know.
I know it's one game, but some confidence is what this team needs more than anything. I do know that LSU is a good team and the Hogs held the Tigers to just 22 rebounds. That's guts and determination.