Da Boot Sports
By: Terrill J. Weil
TAMPA, FL - Arkansas defeated LSU once again this season, 79-67 in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament. After playing well in the first half the Tigers were out coached, outplayed, and overwhelmed during the final 20 minutes.
Tari Eason ended up leading the team with 15 points. Darius Days finished the game with a double-double scoring 14 points while grabbing 10 rebounds.
LSU finished the game shooting only 35% from the floor while also shooting poorly from behind the three point arc hitting only 4-19 for 21%. The big stat was the Hogs ability to win the rebound battle, 42-28.
“The key to the game was when Notae went out with two fouls in the first half and we couldn’t stretch the lead like we needed to,” Wade said. “That was the whole key to the game. We can’t play from behind that much against Arkansas.”
“We didn’t make a basket for the first four minutes of the second half,” Wade added. “We went like eight minutes without making a basket. We hit a couple free throws, but our offense gets that stagnant. Our defense can’t hold that long.”
In a game between two teams that play great defense you would expect a low scoring affair and that's exactly what we got in the first half.
Four minutes into the contest Arkansas built a 10-4 lead as LSU found it tough going to score against the
aggressive Razorbacks' defense.
LSU responded with a 13-7 run over the next nine minutes to tie the game at 17-17 at the 7:30 mark as the Tigers defense began to give the Hogs trouble.
Three Darius Days' free throws gave LSU their first lead of the contest, 20-17 with 5:32 left in the first half as both
teams struggled to sink shots, especially Arkansas who had made only one of their last fifteen shot attempts.
With :22 second remaining in the first half and the Tigers leading 26-24, Will Wade would draw a technical foul that allowed the Hogs to regain the lead, 27-26.
Arkansas increased their lead with two seconds left when Chris Lykes stole a Tari Eason pass and raced down the court to hit a jumper right before the buzzer. The Hogs led 29-26 at the halftime break.
Defense dominated the first half as LSU finished shooting only 29% from the floor while Arkansas finished shooting 24%. The Tigers only hit 1-8 from behind the three point arc compared to Arkansas sinking 2-12. Both teams shot well from the free throw line as LSU sank 11-12 for 92% while the Hogs hit 13-17 for 76%. The Tigers committed right turnovers in the first 20 minutes while the Razorbacks turned the ball over seven times. The Hogs outrebounded LSU in the first half, 22-19 as Arkansas did a great job of keeping LSU off the glass offensively.
Mwani Wilkinson led the team at the half with 5 points while Murray, Pinson, Gaines, and Reid each managed only 4 points a piece. Darius Days added 3 points and Tari Eason was held to only 2 points.
The Hogs started the second half scoring five straight to increase their lead to 34-26 forcing Will Wade to call a timeout with 18:34 left on the clock.
Arkansas extended their run to 13-1 to start the second half as LSU's offense struggled going 0-6 from the floor during the first five minutes of the half, only managing a single free throw by Eric Gaines. The Hogs now led 42-27 with 15:37 left and never looked back.
With 8:22 to go Darius Days would bank in a layup to pull LSU to within 11 points, 53-42. But the Hogs answered with a jumper by Lykes and a three pointer by JD Notae to extend the lead to sixteen, 58-42.
The Tigers battled back cutting the lead to nine with 4:21 left in the game. But just when it looked like LSU was starting a run, the Hogs would respond scoring five straight to go back up by 14 points, 69-55.
Arkansas was simply too much for LSU to handle as they fell to the Hogs for the third time this season, 79-67.
With the loss LSU is now 22-11 and will now wait for the NCAA Tournament Selection Show to find out their regional destination. The Selection Show will be this Sunday March 13th at 5:00pm CT on CBS.
Photos Below By: The SEC