FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The LSU men’s basketball team withstood a shooting barrage on the outside with a dominating performance in the paint and rallied to take a lead midway through the second half before falling to Arkansas, 81-70, before an audience that included two former Arkansas Final Four coaches (Eddie Sutton, Nolan Richardson) and former President Bill Clinton.
LSU falls to 15-9 and 6-6 in the SEC going into a Wednesday home game with Mississippi State, while Arkansas is now 16-9 and 5-7 in the league.
While Arkansas hit 10-of-17 threes, LSU responded with a 42-20 advantage in the paint, a 16-10 advantage on second chance points and 11-4 in fast break points.
Johnny O'Bryant III of LSU became the 40th Tiger player to score 1,000 career points with his first point of the second half and the 21st player to have 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds at LSU. O’Bryant III had a big night with 20 points and 16 rebounds, hitting 9-of-18 field goals and seven offensive rebounds.
The 16 rebounds was a career high for O’Bryant III and he was the first player to have at least 20 points and 15 rebounds since Justin Hamilton had 23 points and 16 rebounds at home versus Ole Miss on Jan. 7, 2012.
Andre Stringer was the other Tiger in double figures with 13 points, making three treys with four assists. Jordan Mickey had his eight game double figure scoring streak stopped, scoring eight, but he did pull down 10 rebounds as LSU out rebounded the Razorbacks, 46-36.
Rashad Madden, 12-of-14 at the free throw line, had 21 points and five assists to lead Arkansas, while Coty Clarke had 16 points and 4 assists, Bobby Portis 15 points and Michael Qualls 13 points. Arkansas shot 45.8 percent for the game (27-of-59), 58.8% from the arc and 17-of-25 at the FT line. LSU shot 39.4 percent for the game (28-of-71), 6-of-24 from the arc (25.0%) and 8-of-14 (57.1%) from the foul line.
Arkansas hit four treys to start the game and quickly built double figure leads at 14-4 and 21-11, but by the intermission the Arkansas lead was four, 37-33. The Tigers tied the game for the first time at the 13:09 mark in the second half at 50-50 on a Anthony Hickey three-pointer and would take a 57-54 lead on a three-pointer by Stringer at the 11 minute mark and a dunk by JOB III at the 10:13 mark.
But the Razorbacks were able to get the game back under control scoring six straight points to take the lead for good at 60-57 and expended the lead to the final margin.
Tickets for Wednesday’s 7 p.m. game with State are available at LSUtix.net.