Tigers upend Hogs 63-58

Tasmin Mitchell scored 19 points, including a key jumper in the final minute, and LSU held off Arkansas 63-58 Wednesday night.

The Razorbacks trailed by as many as 12 in the second half before pulling to 59-58 on Eric Ferguson's drive with just over a minute remaining. But Mitchell answered with a jumper from the left wing to restore the lead to three, and after an Arkansas time-out, Ferguson's pass was broken up by LSU's Glen Davis.

The Razorbacks still had another chance -- Davis missed the front end of a 1-and-1, and the rebound went out of bounds to Arkansas with 5.5 seconds to play. LSU (9-5, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) fouled rather than let the Razorbacks attempt a tying 3-pointer, and Dontell Jefferson missed the front end of a 1-and-1. Mitchell rebounded and made two free throws to seal the win.

Mitchell had nine rebounds for the Tigers, and Tyrus Thomas added 13 points and 14 rebounds. Davis had 12 points and 10 rebounds. LSU won despite shooting 0-for-8 from 3-point range. For the first time in 262 games, LSU did not make a three-point shot, missing all seven attempts.

Ronnie Brewer had 16 points for the Razorbacks, who lost their second in a row after winning nine straight. Arkansas (11-4, 0-2) lost its SEC opener 69-67 at Mississippi State on Saturday night.

The Razorbacks led 26-14 in the first half before LSU went on a 15-2 run. Davis put the Tigers ahead 29-28 with a 3-point play, and LSU led 32-31 at halftime.

The Tigers used a 10-0 run early in the second half to take a 44-32 lead. Arkansas rallied, but couldn't overcome LSU's edge on the boards. The Tigers outrebounded the Razorbacks 44-34.

Post-Game Quotes (Courtesy of Arkansas)

LSU Head Coach John Brady:

"I am really proud of what our team was able to do tonight. 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.

"The whole game our team defended well. I want to compliment our freshman for guarding Ronnie Brewer and Jonathan Modica really well for the whole game.

"Arkansas is the best place in the SEC to play whether you're the home team or visitors like us coming in here. We always seem to play well here. This is one game on the road. There are 15 more. My goal is to have 10 SEC wins and get where we want to go at the end of the year."

LSU Forward Tasmin Mitchell:

"This was a big win on the road. It's a new season for us. The good teams we played earlier in the season helped us tonight. We are 1-0 right now. We just played hard. We really grew up. We tried not to turn the ball over. This is where it counts. We knew we had to play better defense and not turn the ball over."

LSU Forward Tyrus Thomas:

"We wanted to focus on the new season. We came out and finished unlike we did in earlier games."

On the LSU Freshmen:

"We understand we have to step up. Once you start playing there's no classification."

On 12-point Arkansas lead:

"We huddled up and talked about it. We figured if other teams could do that then we could come back and do it too."

On Bud Walton:

"I knew this was a tough place to play with 18,000 screaming fans, but we were determined to start the new season undefeated. We were relentless. Tonight Tasmin Mitchell stepped up, and it was a big relief for us. We weren't going to give up this game like we did earlier ones."

Arkansas Head Coach Stan Heath:

"Our guys are very disappointed. 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 very well and didn't turn over the ball.

"This game is mental and you must continue to be aggressive when you miss shots. In the second half that was our problem. We simply missed easy shots and got frustrated."

On Center Steven Hill:

"I felt he did a terrific job stopping Davis. He had his hands full, but was very physical and really moved his feet. I feel he defended Davis better than anyone else has so far."

Arkansas Center Darian Townes:

On the 0-2 start in SEC play:

"We're going to get out of this hole. 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. Our fans were so into the game and we'd been looking forward to this."

Arkansas Guard Ronnie Brewer:

On the last play:

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

"We just started missing shots, that's as simple as it is. Their guys stepped up and made plays. We know we're a good team, and we just need to dig deep and keep doing the things we've been doing to be successful."

Arkansas Center Steven Hill:

"We got into foul trouble, and had a couple of lulls offensively. In the second half, we didn't come out defensively like we needed to, and they took advantage."

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