Tigers end streak - top Hogs 71-67

BATON ROUGE – The streak is over. Coming into the game, LSU had lost six games in a row. The Arkansas Razorbacks helped start that skid by blasting LSU 72-52 on Jan. 20 in Fayetteville.

The Tigers returned the favor Saturday.

 

Led by Glen Davis' 19 points and 18 rebounds, LSU enjoyed one of its best offensive outings of the season holding off Arkansas 71-67 Saturday afternoon at the Pete Maravich Center.

 

After leading by a single point at halftime, 28-27, the Tigers (14-10, 3-7 SEC) led by as many as 10 points down the stretch then withstood a furious rally by the Razorbacks to win by four.

 

Arkansas' Gary Ervin hit back-to-back three pointers inside the final two minutes and gave the Razorbacks (15-9, 4-6) a brief two-point lead with 2:30 left to play. But the Tigers outscored the Hawgs 10-4 down the stretch, bolstered by a critical three-point play with 42 seconds remaining to nab LSU's first SEC victory since beating Ole Miss 62-55 on Jan. 17.

 

Davis' double-double led the way for the Tigers. But LSU got 16 points from Tasmin Mitchell and Terry Martin poured on 13 more, including a trio of three-pointers. Chris Johnson gave the Tigers an offensive spark off the bench scoring nine points on 4 of 8 shooting.

 

LSU shot 46.6-percent (27 of 58) from the floor and outrebounded the Razorbacks 39-30. The Tigers had 15 offensive rebounds, 10 of which were credited to Davis.

 

LSU returns to action Wednesday when they travel to Oxford to meet the Ole Miss Rebels. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

 

The Tigers bolted out to a quick 7-2. Terry Martin opened the scoring with a three-pointer for a 3-0 and Tasmin Mitchell and Darnell Lazare scored back to back lay-in baskets in transition.

 

Martin made it a 12-6 game at the 14:30 mark with his second three-pointer of the game from just in front of the Arkansas bench. The Tigers led by a half-dozen, 12-6, going into the first media timeout with 14:07 left in the first half.

 

Coming out of the timeout, the Tigers used excellent ball movement to take a nine point, 15-6 lead on Martin's third, three-point basket of the first half.

 

A pair of Glen Davis free throws gave the Tigers an 11-point, 17-6 advantage, but the Hogs battled back with a pair of layups and LSU went into the second media timeout with a 17-10 lead.

 

Chris Johnson hit a mid-range jumper for a 19-10 lead with 10:10 left in the first half. But a Sonny Weems jumper cut it back to seven 19-12.

 

After another Johnson jumper got raised the Tigers' lead to 21-13, Arkansas' Sean McCurdy converted a fastbreak layup, drew a Ben Voogd foul and turned it into a three-point play for a 21-16 LSU advantage.

 

Weems closed the gap even closer when he a three-pointer from the wing just in front of Brady. At the 4:25 mark, LSU's lead had been shaved to a mere two points, 21-19.

 

Arkansas pulled even with the Tigers when Michael Washington banged in a layup at the 3:47 mark of the first half. Going into the final media timeout of the first half, it was 21-21.

 

The Razorbacks took its first lead of the game when Patrick Beverly sank a pair of free throws for a 23-21 lead with 3:26 remaining in the opening half.

 

The teams traded baskets down the stretch of the first half. LSU found itself in a one-point hole with :22.2 seconds left before halftime. Glen Davis took an off-balance, baseline, fade away jumper which clanged off the rim. Martin was Johnny-on-the-spot with the putback layup giving LSU a 28-27 lead at the break.

 

The Tigers led 28-27 at halftime.

 

Davis converted his second field of the game early in the second half when he banged in a layup and drew the foul. Davis converted the three-point play as LSU took a 33-27 advantage with 17:18 left to play in the game.

 

Chares Thomas outmuscled Davis in the paint for an easy two and Weems followed it up with another layup as the Hawgs cut the Tigers lead to 35-33. But Mitchell slashed to the hoop to answer Arkansas's mini-run as LSU headed into the first media timeout of the second half leading 37-33.

 

Johnson checked in for a bloody Davis at the 15-minute mark and immediately made an impact. Shooting over Darian Townes, Johnson knocked down a patented mid-range jumper and drew the foul. The 6-11, sophomore drained the free throw completing the three-point play for a 40-34 Tiger lead.

 

After a pair of Beverly free throws, Mitchell nailed a brilliant baseline jumper for a 42-36 LSU lead with 13:31 to go in the second half.

 

Beverly sank a pair of free throws then stole the inbounds pass from Voogd and put it back up turning a six-point deficit to a mere two points with the Tigers clutching a 42-40 lead.

 

Johnson then got a run-out dunk pushing the lead back to four, 44-40 with 12:45 left to play. But Johnson gave it back on the other end when he was whistled for goal tending, which gave the Hawgs two points and LSU's lead again shrunk to two, 44-42.

 

Davis made an acrobatic move in the paint, sidestepping Thomas and hit a running hook shot for a 46-42 LSU lead heading into an official timeout at the 11:46 mark.

 

A no-look pass from Davis to a wide-open Voogd under the goal resulted in an easy layup and a six-point, 48-42 lead with 10:35 left to play.

 

On LSU's next possession, Mitchell knocked down another baseline jump shot raising the Tigers advantage to eight points, 50-42 at the 10:07 mark.

 

Davis made it a 10-point LSU lead when he grabbed a loose ball over Arkansas' 7-0 center Steven Hill and shot a baby hook for a 52-42 lead with 9:21 left to play in regulation.

 

Thomas hit a spinning layup in the paint after an apparent traveling no-call as the Razorbacks cut the Tigers' lead to six-point lead 52-46 with 7:50 left to play. Gary Ervin then picked Davis' pocket, drove the length of the court and somehow converted an out-of-control layup and drew the foul. He then sank the free throw, finishing off the three-point play closing the gap to a mere three points. With 7:36 left to play, LSU clung to a 52-49 lead.

 

Davis got it back to five, 54-49, when he sank a jump shot from the right corner, but Ervin answered with a layup and with 6:20 to go it was again a three-point game.

 

Thomas got fouled on a jump shot drew kind iron and fell in. He then sank the free throw for the three-point play and Arkansas trimmed the LSU advantage to two points 56-54 with 5:15 left in regulation.

 

But Temple answered Thomas three-point conversion with a three-pointer from the left wing just as the shot clock expired giving LSU a 59-54 lead with 4:48 to play.

 

Davis took an ill-advised three-pointer from the top of the key with 30-plus seconds remaining on the shot clock with just over four minutes left to play. The ball bounded off the side of the iron and into the awaiting arms of Thomas, who advanced the ball up the floor to Weems. Weems, however, did not miss the trey hitting it from the right wing and again the Hawgs made it a two-point LSU lead, 59-57.

 

Two Davis free throws gave LSU a four-point lead with 3:45 up 61-57. But Ervin answered with a dagger in the heart with a three-pointer from the corner and the Hawgs had shaved the lead to a single point 61-60.

 

Ervin finally got Arkansas the lead when he buried another three-point basket from in front of the Hawgs bench. With 2:15 left to play, Arkansas led 63-61.

 

But Mitchell wasn't going to let LSU go quietly when he hit a jump shot with just under two minutes left in the game. The Tigers then called a timeout and with 1:39 left in regulation, the score was tied 63-63.

 

After two offensive rebounds and taking a severe pounding in the paint, Davis finally pounded in a layup and drew the foul from Arkansas' Steven Hill. Davis reacted with a bellowing howl, and then sank the free throw for a 66-63 lead with :42.8 seconds left in the contest.

 

Temple picked Ervin's pocket and gave the Tigers some insurance with a run-out, one handed dunk and a 68-63 lead with 28 seconds left in the game. Arkansas scurried to call a timeout.

 

Beverly and the Razorbacks worked the ball quickly up the floor and with :20.1 second remaining Ervin got a quick layup and another timeout.

 

Davis was fouled on the inbound pass and sank one of two free throws as LSU stretched its lead to four points, up 69-65 with 17 seconds remaining. But Beverly again got the ball down the floor quickly and found Thomas who got a quick layup and called the Hawgs final timeout trailing 69-67 with 8.2 seconds left on the clock.

 

Martin drew the foul on the inbound pass and iced the game with a pair of free throws giving the Tigers the 71-67 victory.

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