Da Boot Sports
By: Jason Watson Jr.
Baton Rouge, LA- The LSU Men's basketball team earned a dominant win over the Arkansas Razorbacks, 95-74.
Matt McMahon and the LSU Tigers basketball team duked it out with SEC Rival Arkansas on a rainy Saturday morning at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
After dropping their last three, LSU sought to replicate their home success and climb back to the win column.
Arkansas won the tip and looked primed to score right away, but Jalen Reed defended the paint well for LSU with two mean blocks. He also managed the first bucket of the game for the Tigers.
In a low-scoring first four minutes of play, LSU jumped out in front with a high-arcing three from Mike Williams III off a solid dish from Trae Hannibal.
Hannibal helped extend the Tiger scoring run to 10-0 with a flashy assist to Will Baker in the corner for the trey.
Baker followed that up by scoring his team’s next four field goal attempts, including two more three-pointers before taking a breather. The big man quickly found himself within double digits, leading LSU to a 20-7 advantage as LSU stayed hot, shooting 88% from the field.
LSU and Arkansas continued to trade free throws, but the difference in the game was plain to see. The Tigers were HOT, and the Razorbacks…they were not.
With 7:50 showing on the first-half game clock, Matt McMahon’s team was shooting a blazing 78% from the floor while holding the visitors to 33%. A 32-14 lead was the early result of LSU’s tenacity and aggressiveness on both sides of the floor.
Will Baker scored his 15th point of the game to halt a 3 minute plus scoring drought for the Tigers, but a 6-0 Razorback run over just a minute forced McMahon to call a timeout with the LSU lead down to 12.
A trip to the free-throw line earned Jalen Cook his first points of the contest for the Tigers, and on the very next possession, Cook nailed a triple.
An impressive opening half of basketball from LSU came to a close as the teams headed to the break with a 45-30 lead.
Will Baker led the way for the Tigers with 17 points; Mike Williams followed with 10. Arkansas was out-rebounded and out-shot and out played over the first 20 minutes, and it did not help that three of their starters were held scoreless. Foul calls were aplenty and came often, with both teams racking up nine each.
The second half could not have started any worse for the Razorbacks as they failed to score with the opening possession and allowed Will Baker to convert an basket and-one on the other end. Baker’s point total rose to 20.
Arkansas missed a pair of free throws before allowing Reed to get his three-point play opportunity.
Williams delivered another triple for the Tigers, giving them their largest lead at 24.
The two teams swapped baskets as time proceeded, and LSU’s lead remained stagnant before the home
crowd fans got treated to two electrifying plays.
LSU took full advantage of a breakaway chance off a missed Razorback shots. Trae Hannibal corralled the rock with Jordan Wright tailing behind. Hannibal passed to Wright and went up to snag the lob, finishing the play with a powerful alley-oop jam. The PMAC erupted but didn’t have time to settle before Hunter Dean slammed a turnaround dunk off the bench.
With five minutes to go, LSU’s lead sat at 21 following a three-pointer from Cook. That bucket would push him to the 20-point mark.
LSU led 84-63. From there, it was all Tigers. With 96 seconds remaining, McMahon let his reserves get some minutes in with the victory already on lock.
After putting on their best performance of the season, a roaring standing ovation was given to Baker, Cook, Wright, and the rest of the LSU team.
The Tigers improve to 12-9 overall and 4-4 in the SEC.
Next on tap, your LSU Fighting Tigers will travel to #5 Tennessee for a road date with the Volunteers. That game will be on Wednesday, February 7, 2024, at 6:00 pm CST. Geaux Tigers! You can watch the contest on the SEC Network.
Tune in to our Da Boot Sports YouTube page on Monday night for Talking Tigers with da Boot Sports Podcast as we talk LSU Men's and Women's basketball with host David Penn, co-hosts Clarence Ceasar and Russell Grant plus special guest, Coach Dale Brown! It will be a fantastic show. See you Monday night at 7:00pm
Photos Below By: Paige Luper
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