By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports
FAYETTEVILLE, AR: Will Wade and the Tigers would go into Fayetteville to take on the #20 ranked Razorbacks. Arkansas is one of the hottest teams in the nation right now winners of five in a row. LSU is eyeing a must win to help their seeding in the SEC Tournament. Once again LSU would fall apart late in a ball game, falling to the Hogs, 83-75...
Arkansas would control the opening tip, but wouldn't score until each team would miss a basket on their end of the court. Devonte Davis would hit a turn around jumper for the Hogs at the 18:57 mark to go up 2-0.
The Tigers would respond going on a 8-0 run over the next two minutes to grab a 8-2 lead. Both teams would have their moments making nice plays on both end of the floor. With 11:40 left on the clock, Cam Thomas would hit a jumper to put LSU up 16-10.
Arkansas would respond with a three pointer by JD Notae, then a layup by Justin Smith to cut the LSU lead to one point, 16-15 with 10:49 left.
LSU would step up their defensive pressure and go on a 12-4 run over the next three minutes, taking a nine point lead, 28-19 with 7:39 left in the first half.
With 6:26 left on the game clock, Cam Thomas would hit a jumper to put the Tigers up by ten, 30-20. But Arkansas would respond with a 5-0 run, trimming the lead to five, 30-25 at the 4:27 mark forcing Will Wade to call a timeout.
LSU would struggle to score over the next minute and a half allowing the Hogs to get to within three points. Mwani Wilkinson would get the Tigers back on track hitting a deep corner three pointer, to make the score 33-27 Tigers.
Justin Smith would answer for the Razorback with a wide open three pointer of his own. 33-30 with 3:37 to go.
The Tigers would end up out scoring Arkansas 4-2 over the last three minutes of the half, as LSU would own a 37-32 lead at halftime.
Cam Thomas would lead the Tigers at the half with 13 points, while Javonte Smart would have 8 points.
Both teams would come out and trade baskets to start the second half, before Arkansas would go on a 6-2 run to cut the LSU lead to one, 43-42 at the 17:08 mark.
The Razorbacks would go on a 14-10 run over the next five minutes to take a 56-53 lead at the 11:53 mark. From this point Arkansas would control the tempo of the game as the Tigers would find themselves missing easy shots. The Hogs would go on a 10-1 run over the next two minutes to take a 66-54 lead with 9:45 to go.
LSU would continue to miss easy looks at the basket as they found themselves ice cold and frustrated, while the Hogs would take advantage and build a 70-54 lead with 7:48 left on the clock.
Arkansas smelling blood in the water, would turn it up a notch and start to build on their lead, going on a 12-3 run to go up by 18 points, 78-60 with 4:35 left in the game.
With only 2:36 left to go, LSU would finally start to get shots to fall, but as they say, too little too late... Fighting against the clock, the Tigers would outscore the Razorbacks 15-5 in the final two minutes of the game, but it wasn't enough. Arkansas would hold on for a 83-75 victory.
The Tigers missed out on a golden opportunity to move into second place in the SEC standing. Now their final two regular season games loom large as must wins if they are to secure a first two round bye in the SEC Tournament.
Cam Thomas would lead the team with 25 points, ... Trendon Watford would finish with 16 points, ... Javonte Smart would contribute 15 points on the day. Darius Days would completely go missing as he finished going 0-8 from the floor with zero points.
With the loss the Tigers are now 14-8 overall and 9-6 in SEC play. Up next LSU will host Vanderbilt on Tuesday, March 2nd at 7:30pm.