Men's Basketball Comes Up Big at Arkansas, 75-54
Communications Sr. Associate
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The LSU Tigers dominated the Arkansas Razorbacks almost from start to finishing in scoring a second straight SEC road win with a dominating 75-54 victory Wednesday night at Bud Walton Arena.
LSU opened up a double digit lead with 14:09 to go in the first 20 minutes and led by as many as 24 in the first half enroute to a 41-21 halftime lead.
Arkansas closed to within 12 points in the second half but the Tigers sprinted away from the Razorbacks as LSU ran play-after-play resulting in easy scores.
LSU is now 11-4, 2-1 in the SEC surpassing the overall win total of a year ago and equaling the SEC win total of 2017. Arkansas drops to 11-5 and 1-3 in the league. LSU is 3-0 on opponents’ home courts this year.
The Tigers had very balanced scoring as Aaron Epps led LSU with 13 points and 11 rebounds, his third double double of the season. Skylar Mays and Randy Onwuasor had 12 points each. Duop Reath added 11 points. Tremont Waters and Wayde Sims had eight apiece. Waters had eight assists in 36 minutes.
Jaylen Barford was the only player in double figures for the Razorbacks with 17 points.
The win tied the second biggest all-time margin versus Arkansas as the 21-point margin was topped only by the margin in an 85-56 win by LSU in March 2003 at the SEC Tournament in New Orleans.
This was LSU’s seventh all-time win in Fayetteville where the previous best margin was 11 points in 2000 and 2004. It was LSU’s second in the last four trips to Bud Walton as Keith Hornby hit a jump shot at the buzzer to beat the Razorbacks in 2015.
LSU improved to an amazing 78-0 since the start of the 1966-67 season when leading by 20+ points at halftime.
The Tigers also shot 52.7 percent for the game (29-of-55), hitting 15-of-27 in the first 20 minutes and 14-of-28 in the second half. That is the highest percentage LSU has ever shot against Arkansas. It is the seventh time this season, LSU has shot better than 50 percent from the field and LSU has now won eight straight games when shooting over 50 percent, dating back to last season.
LSU was a strong 25-of-37 (67.6%) inside the arc, including 13-of-19 in the second half when LSU worked on protecting the lead.
LSU had 44 points in the paint and a 15-6 advantage in points off turnovers.
Arkansas led the game for 20 seconds from the 19:37 mark to 19:17 on a free throw by Adria Bailey that gave Arkansas a 1-0 lead.
Epps had a dunk at the 19:17 mark to give LSU the lead for good at 2-1 and then followed that with a trey at the 17:51 mark to make it 5-1.
The lead reached 10 on a Reath free throw at 15-15 and 21 at the 5:07 mark on a Mays trey, 32-11.
Arkansas would make just 6-of-33 shots in the first half (18.2%) and just 1-of-11 three-pointers.
In the second half, it was just a case of bringing the victory home and surviving the expected push from the Razorbacks.
Arkansas got it down to 13 with 13:24 left, 49-36, and 12, 55-43, off a CJ Jones jumper with 10:42 to go, but Coach Will Wade and staff began taking time off the clock and setting up plays that kept Arkansas at bay.
After the Jones bucket, Epps hit a three, Brandon Rachal hit two layups, Randy Onwausor got a layup and then Rachal and Onwuasor hit more driving to the goal layins that gave LSU a 23-point advantage, 68-45, with 6:28 to go.
LSU returns home on Saturday night to face Alabama in a 7:30 p.m. on the SEC Network and the LSU Sports Radio Network. Tickets are available at the LSU Athletics Ticket Office and online at LSUTix.net.
Arkansas vs. LSU
January 10, 2018
Head Coach Will Wade
“Good win for our team, I was proud of our guys. I thought we played about as well as we could play. We executed extremely well defensively, so just very very pleased with our effort. This is a very tough place to win, they have a great team, a great program and they win a ton of SEC games here at home, they win a ton of SEC games period. So, this was a big win for us.”
On if the margin of the win was surprising….
“We just come in here hoping to hang around, keep it close and give ourselves an opportunity there at the end. And obviously things kind of snowballed, and it was our night tonight.”
On the effect of Freshman guard Tremont Waters…
“I mean he wasn’t even as good tonight as he usually is. He had eight assists tonight, and a lot of what we call hockey assists, where he passed it and then to another guy. He played great, he usually shoots it a lot better, he missed all those free throws. He’s a phenomenal player, he was in control of the game out there tonight. But, I thought our other guards did a great job. I mean, Macon and Barford are so difficult to guard, I thought they did a phenomenal job, staying in their pocket and executing our defensive game plan. But, Waters was in control on offense.”
Senior forward Aaron Epps
On how confident the team is right now…
“We just played as a team, we executed what we had to do and we just played really hard.”
On how it feels to be 11-4 at this point in the season after last year…
“It feels really great; I mean we have definitely put the work in. I’m just happy that we have been winning games.”
On how Coach Will Wade has helped the team this season…
“He has made us a lot more confident. We just want to play really hard for him, we just come in and work hard everyday and let everything else just take care of itself.”