Tigers take Hogs out of rhythm

It seems they can win the close one. After blowing a lead to lose to Alabama two weeks ago, LSU turned a nine-point halftime deficit into a rousing 75-69 win over the Arkansas Razorbacks Sunday afternoon in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

Ronald Dupree and Collis Temple III led the Tiger barrage with 21 points each, while true freshman Antonio Hudson added key baskets on his way to an 11-point game. LSU capitalized on Razorback fouls, shooting 31 of 38 free throws to Arkansas' 8-of-10 performance. Dupree sank six of his 12 shots and put in nine free throws, while Temple was 5-for-7 from the field with two treys and nine free throws.

LSU earned its first league victory to improve to 11-4 (1-1 Southeastern Conference), while Arkansas fell to 10-5 (2-1 SEC).

The Hogs were led by senior guard Brandon Dean, who scored 24 points with an 8-of-13 performance, including 7-of-10 from three-point range.

LSU got off to a quick start against the Razorbacks, going up 5-0 on quick baskets by Dupree and Torris Bright. Dupree managed to sink only three free throws on six attempts over the next two minutes, and Dean nailed a three-pointer to give the Hogs their first lead, 9-8, with just over 17 minutes to play in the half. After a basket by Brad Bridgewater, Dean drained another shot from beyond the arc for a 12-10 Arkansas lead at the 16:13 mark.

The Hogs went on a 9-2 run before Temple scored the game's next five points on two free throws and a three-pointer, but Arkansas answered with a three-pointer from Charles Tatum for a 24-17 lead with 11 minutes to go in the half.

Trailing 31-23, LSU scored four on free throws by Temple and Dupree, but the Tigers yielded a three-pointer to Teddy Gipson for a 34-27 Razorback lead with 3:28 to go in the half. Temple scored another basket before two Arkansas free throws and a Dean fast break dunk gave the Hogs a 40-29 lead. Bright closed out the half with a pair of free throws to bring LSU within nine, 40-31.

LSU head coach John Brady decided to switch up his defense in the second half, trying to negate Arkansas' dribble penetration and kick-out that led to a number of open shots in the first half.

"I think changing to the fence (zone) defense helped us, and then the last five minutes we went into a 32 defense, which is a triangle and two," Brady said. "We guarded (Jannero) Pargo and Dean down the stretch man to man and played a triangle zone with the other three.

"You can see how good Arkansas is when they get into a rhythm, and you can't guard them with just one defense. When teams have two excellent offensive players on the floor and three other guys that don't shoot it as well, (the 32) a pretty good defense to go to from time to time. It helped us tonight."

"(LSU) did a good job of taking (the outside shot) away," said Arkansas guard Teddy Gipson. "We always want to penetrate and kick out, but in the second half (LSU) kind of played a zone. I think it made us get passive on offense, and they took advantage of it."

Gipson scored 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting and was 3-for-3 from beyond the arc.

The Razorback lead hovered around 10 for the opening minutes of the second half, with Hudson going toe-to-toe with the Hogs, matching trey for trey to keep LSU within 10, 53-43. He cut the lead to seven while being fouled on a jumper with 10:14 to play, but he was unable to turn the three-point play when he missed from the line. Dupree missed two free throws on a foul on Alonzo Lane, but Temple snagged the rebound and tipped the ball in to bring the Tigers within five, 56-51, with nine minutes to go in the game.

Dean committed his fourth personal foul at the 8:19 mark, allowing Temple to drain two more freebies and cut the Arkansas lead to 56-53.

"I think we made each shot a little more important than it had to be instead of playing relaxed and continuing to play basketball," Dean said. "We got a little tentative taking our shots and lost focus on what we were trying to do."

Bright dropped in a lay-up at the 7:23 mark to cut the lead to one, prompting the majority of the 8,369 in the PMAC to get up and cheer for more. Dupree picked up a fourth foul soon after but would play the remainder of the game.

Jermaine Williams stole the ball at midcourt but was fouled and gave the Tigers their first lead since the opening minutes of the game by nailing both free throws. Williams finished the afternoon with eight points and a 6-of-6 performance from the line. The Tigers led 57-56 with 6:54 to go in the game.

Arkansas' J.J. Sullinger answered with a three-pointer from the corner give the lead back to the Razorbacks. Hudson nailed a three-point shot of his own, but Dean answered with to make it 62-60 with 5:11 to go in the game.

Dupree added a deuce and Pargo hit a three before Dean fouled out of the game with a hack on Temple at the 2:44 mark. Temple made both throws to give LSU a 66-65 lead.

"As a competitor, you want to be out there trying to help your team," Dean said on fouling out. "It's difficult trying to watch the game go down the stretch when you're not able to help your team. ... We just went cold. It didn't have anything to do with what anybody else did. We just didn't make shots at the end of the game."

From that point on, the Tigers never looked back. Hudson fed Temple a pass at the top of the key that Temple nailed for three points and a 70-65 LSU advantage. The roof of the Deaf Dome rattled with the thunderous roar that erupted from the crowd.

"Hudson had it on the wing with I think eight seconds left," Temple said. "I really didn't have anybody guarding me, so I flashed up to the top, and I was wide open. I knew it was late, so I was going to shoot regardless. It was just catch and shoot. I didn't even dribble."

"Collis has always been a clutch player," Hudson said. "So when I saw him coming to me through the lane, I knew to get it to him. He never lets us down in the clutch."

LSU added five more to the Hogs' four to ice a 75-69 victory that prompted Brady to rush across the court for a fist-pumping victory salute to the raucous student section.

"I like the students," Brady said. "I've never seen a successful basketball program in the country that doesn't have the support of its student body. I want the students. I need the students. I love the students."

"To beat Arkansas is a big feather in anybody's cap," Richardson said of Brady's display. "Even though we haven't been (as good as) the teams we've had in the past, we've still got the name Arkansas and that name is still strong. It's kind of like when they beat Kentucky. It's still big no matter what kind of team Kentucky's got.

"I still expect the same thing, and I'm proud of the fact they feel that way. I'm proud of the fact they may storm the floors. We don't do that - I hope not anyway - because we're used to winning.

Sometimes when you're not used to winning you act that way, you feel that way. There's nothing wrong with it. I would just rather act the other way, like I'm used to it."

"One thing you can say about the last few years, our team never gives up," Brady emphasized. "We've had a bad break here, bad luck there, but our team has never given it up under any circumstances. That's in our guys, in our team, to keep scratching and fighting and finding a way."

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