But, it seemed as if those ways
were ways of the past as a more mature Tiger team took a 15-6 overall record and
a two-game lead in the Southeastern Conference Western Division into Wednesday's
That's why 9820 LSU biased-fans
stood stunned with 11 seconds remaining in the game after the Tigers surrendered
a 14-point second-half lead after not scoring for the last 4:24 of the last 4:35
of the contest while Arkansas turned that deficit into a 77-75 advantage. And,
also why that same crowd erupted when Tiger senior guard Darrel Mitchell broke
the scoreless streak with a long three-point basket over the outstretched arms
of two Razorbacks at the top of the key to give LSU a 78-77 win at the
The win let LSU keep pace with
Mitchell's buried three was countered on the Razorback end of the floor by Ronnie Brewer, who had been the catalysts in the 14-0 run that erased LSU's lead. Brewer took the ball at the top of the key with the clock ticking toward zero, dribbled inside the three-point arch, committed a double dribble that wasn't called and heaved a 15-foot prayer toward the goal between two Tiger defenders. The ball bounced off the left side of the rim and the Tigers stood victorious.
"I don't think we played real smart down the stretch," Tiger Coach John Brady said. "We had some really careless turnovers. The main thing is LSU won the game. That's the bottom line."
The bottom line for the Razorbacks
is that they had a chance to put the game away at the free throw line and
Brady said his team set up a full
court press and tried to trap at least twice, but
"I could lie and say we wanted to foul McCurdy because he was a freshman and he had just checked in the game," Brady said. "But that's not the way we set it up."
But, Brady said the shot made by Mitchell was set up and run to perfection.
"We brought the ball down the court and put Mitchell in the corner," Brady said. "The two post men set up screens at the top of the key and even Tasmin Mitchell got involved. Darrel made his way past them and made the shot."
Mitchell's 27 total points and his
5-of-7 shooting from three point range prompted Brady to say he's never coached
a player more capable in the clutch than Mitchell. Mitchell absorbed the praise
and commended his teammates, but still lamented over a missed opportunity to
make a similar basket in a similar situation in a one-point loss at now
"This is not really redemption because it's not UConn," Mitchell said. "But it was a really big shot and a really big win. They made a really good run on us and we were able to come back."
According to Brady, that
"For the most part for about a six-minute stretch we didn't make the proper decisions to close the game out and it almost cost us," Brady said. When it's all said and done, LSU's 8-1 in the league. Atop the SEC."
Brady admitted his team played
sloppy at times Wednesday, committing far too many turnovers with 21 and giving
He said all of the mistakes his
team made are correctable, and will be before the Tigers travel to
"This one wasn't by the
books," he said. "Still, we don't apologize and we're looking forward to going