Tigers can't complete rally - lose 68-52

A ferocious second half effort was not enough for LSU to overcome a substantial halftime deficit, as the Tigers dropped another conference game to Arkansas 68-52 in front of a substantially larger and more energetic crowd at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center Saturday night.

The loss solidified the worst start in SEC play for LSU (7-12, 0-5 SEC) in 36 years and extended the Tigers losing streak to eight games.

Shooting woes once again plagued the Tigers excellent second half defensive effort. Much as the case has been throughout this forgettable season, LSU struggled from the field and behind the arc. LSU shot 29 percent from the field while offering a 19.2 percent (5-26) effort from three-point range.

"From a defensive standpoint and an effort standpoint, it was good enough to put ourselves in position to win the game," LSU coach John Brady said. "It becomes glaring when you can't make baskets.

"The effort is good. Our team played. We just need to somehow get in a position to manufacture points better."

Much to the contrary of the Tigers shooting performance, the Razorbacks (14-5, 3-2 SEC) sizzled the nets all night. Arkansas was lights out from behind the arc, draining 10 of 15 attempts (66.7 percent) and were lead by the solid stroke of senior forward Sonny Weems who had 21 points (19 in the first half), and was a perfect 5-5 from three-point range.

For the Hogs six seniors, it was the first time in their career that they left Baton Rouge with a victory.

"I really believed coming here tonight that this would be our best effort of the year," Arkansas coach John Pelphrey said. "I thought we would be a better team. I didn't know how that would translate into playing or making shots."

LSU had the lead briefly in the first half. But two of Weems' first 3-pointers put the Razorbacks ahead, 6-5, and started a 12-0 run which all-SEC Arkansas guard Patrick Beverley completed with another 3-point shot.

The 6-1 Beverley had 14 points and a team high 15 rebounds while playing all but one minute of the contest.

After a basket by LSU freshman forward Anthony Randolph, a field goal by Weems put Arkansas up 17-7. The Razorbacks led by at least 10 points for the remainder of the first half, which ended 39-22 in favor of the Hogs.

After getting the game to 42-34 with an electric run early in the second half, The Tigers season killing monster that is LSU's shooting problems again reared its ugly head. When the Tigers still seemed to be back in the game and whittled the Arkansas lead to ten to make it 55-45 on Tiger sophomore Alex Farrer's 3-pointer, they missed 10 straight and didn't score for over five minutes. Even with a rambunctious LSU crowd of over 8,000 – the Tigers were never able to get closer than eight points for the rest of the night.

"I just want to thank all the fans for sticking with us until the end," a disappointed Randolph said after the game. "Everybody on this team wants to win. All the stuff we are going through, it's hard. We outscored them in the second half, so we are going out and playing. But we just have to put it all together. We're just staying positive and I think it showed in the second half that we are making strides. In basketball you have to have a short memory. When we aren't making the shots you have to keep trying. There isn't any other choice."

Marcus Thornton, the team's leading scorer on the season, led the Tigers again with 20 points while shooting 7-20 from the field.

Farrer, putting forth his best overall performance in a Tiger uniform, had 11 points and two assists.

Terry Martin again struggled to find the basket – going 1-9 for two points.

"When you can't make baskets, it becomes glaring," Brady said. "We are missing opportunities around the goal and open shots. We gave ourselves a chance with our second half defensive effort, but our glaring shooting trouble hurt us."

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