The Blues Continue

The LSU men's basketball team continues to struggle in Southeastern Conference play, most recently dropping an 87-62 decision to Arkansas.

The woes continue.

If you are on top of LSU basketball, you know the feeling. The Tigers haven’t won much this season, and the time to celebrate success doesn’t seem in sight.

With a winless conference record, the Tigers traveled to Fayetteville in hopes of righting a ship that had steered off course.

Once more, LSU head coach Trent Johnson’s young and undermanned squad failed to deliver.

Arkansas (13-11, 6-3 SEC) shot 47.5 percent for the game to down the Tigers by 35 points, the Razorbacks’ third-largest margin of victory over an SEC opponent in school history.

“It was a good ole’ fashioned butt whooping,” Johnson said. “It’s not pretty. I knew we were limited in our skill level and experience, but I didn’t anticipate us being in this situation.”

Cortney Fortson and Rotnie Clarke combined for 33 points to lead the Razorbacks, who have now won five-consecutive conference games for the first time since 2006.

“This is a group that was talented and young, but you look at the improvement of Clark and others and they are committed,” Johnson said. “They are playing some really good defense.”

LSU was 21-of-56 from the floor, seeing only Tasmin Mitchell and walk-on guard Zach Kinsley reach double figures. Mitchell finished with a double-double behind 15 points and 13 rebounds, while Kinsley recorded 13 points in 22 minutes of action.

Warren, who was slowed by injury, scored eight points and grabbed four boards.

On the contrary, Arkansas saw 11 men get onto the scorecard. While Fortson and Clark played as advertised, the 11-point outing from Jemal Farmer off the bench was his best night in over a month.

Outrebounded by double-digits and forced into nine more turnovers than the Razorbacks, Johnson’s Tigers offered no excuses for their performances over the past two months.

“We are not really good,” Johnson said. “There is no secret to that. You have to understand you have a ways to go.”

Arkansas stormed out to a 10-0 lead, which they maintained before the Tigers came back with seven unanswered points to make it a 12-9 contest.

In no mood to allow the visitors to hang around, the Razorbacks entered the break with a 22-point lead, 43-21. 
Arkansas outscored the Tigers 9-2 in the opening two minutes of the second half, and the Razorbacks' lead never dipped below 20 as they dominated the Tigers down the stretch on both ends of the floor.
A stingy John Pelphrey defense led to 17 LSU turnovers, which Arkansas turned into 27 points. The Razorbacks also came away with 13 steals, their second-highest total of the season.

“We have to find a way to continue to fight,” Johnson said. “The things that are correctable are putting a body on a guy. Sometimes the effort, or lack of, bothered me.

“Their on-ball pressure was tough, as well as the wing entrance,” he added. “They started shading off on Tasmin and Bo. We got open shots as we have all year long, but guys just have to start making them.”

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