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LSU's Charles Carmouche
Photo by:Steve Franz, LSU Athletics Staff Photographer
Carmouche's Career Effort Vaults Tigers Past Hogs
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Published: February 27, 2013, 10:12 PM (CT)
by Matt Dunaway, Associate SID

BATON ROUGE - Charles Carmouche racked up a career-high 26 points on 9-of-11 shooting as the LSU basketball team continued its winning ways and got over the .500 mark in SEC action with a 65-60 victory over Arkansas Wednesday at the Maravich Center.

For Carmouche, it was the most points he has scored in college game. He played at the University of New Orleans and Memphis before transferring to LSU. He has reached the 20-point plateau in his past three home outings.

Carmouche turned in a complete effort aided by 15 points in the opening stanza and scored 11 of LSU's 20 points during the second half. The New Orleans native also added five rebounds, two assists and two steals in 35 minutes.

Carmouche also was solid on the defense end and held B.J. Young, Arkansas' leading scorer averaging over 15 points per game, to four points on 2-of-11 from the field. The four points was Young's second-lowest scoring output of the season.   

LSU (17-9, 8-7 SEC) has picked up wins in eight of its last 11 outings after starting SEC play with a 0-4 record. With the victory, the Tigers also moved into a tie for seventh place with Arkansas (17-11, 8-7 SEC) in the SEC standings.   

Anthony Hickey tacked on 10 points, five assists and two steals. He has secured double figures in 16 of his last 18 outings dating back to December 18.

Shavon Coleman added eight points, while Malik Morgan garnered seven points to go along with three rebounds and three assists.

Playing with foul trouble for the most of the game, Johnny O'Bryant III had his run of 11 straight games in double figures come to an end. He tallied five points and eight rebounds in 21 minutes.

Arkansas was fueled by Marshawn Powell, who poured in 12 of his team-leading 17 points, during the second half. He also hauled in eight rebounds. Mardracus Wade also came away with 15 points for the Razorbacks.

All square at 5-5 at the 16:20 mark of the first half, LSU seized control of the game behind Carmouche's eight consecutive points within an 80-second stretch. He nailed a mid-range jumper followed by back-to-back triples. The Tigers completed its 14-3 with another Carmouche three-ball, a Morgan lay-up and a Carmouche jumper to take a 15-point cushion at 23-8 with 11:01 remaining.

After Arkansas drew back to within 28-21 four minutes later, Hickey fueled the Tigers to 17 of the next 19 points. He hit a runner, added a jumper and handed out a pair of assists. LSU led by as many as 22 points, 45-23, after an Andre Stringer's triple.

As a team, LSU connected for 17-of-35 during the first half sparked by a 7-for-15 clip from three-point territory. The Tigers recorded 13 assists on their 17 field goals.  
 
Arkansas pulled back to single digits as the Razorbacks scored the final nine points of the first half and finished off a 19-4 spurt of their own with a Michael Qualls lay-up to make it 49-42 with 13:32 remaining.

On LSU's next possession, Carmouche answered with a traditional three-point play to give the Tigers a 10-point cushion back.  

The Razorbacks turned to a 2-3 zone coupled with a three-quarter trapping defense to hold LSU to one basket over the final 10 minutes. Arkansas' final flurry also was ignited by Powell and Wade, who combined for 10 points.

A Qualls dunk brought the Razorbacks within a single possession at 62-60 at the 1:42 mark. Arkansas would misfire on its last four shots, while the Tigers made 3-of-6 at the foul line to hang on for the 65-60 triumph. 

Next up, LSU will make its initial SEC road trip to Missouri. Saturday's tip time is scheduled for 3 p.m. from Mizzou Arena, and the game will be televised by the SEC Network. An online version of the telecast is available at www.ESPN3.com and the Watch ESPN app.

The LSU Sports Radio Network also will broadcast the game on Eagle 98.1 FM in the Baton Rouge area and inside the Geaux Zone at LSUsports.net/live. Jim Hawthorne, Ricky Blanton and Kevin Ford will call the action.

LSU's returns home for Senior Day and its final home contest of the 2012-13 when the Tigers welcome Ole Miss to the Maravich Center on Saturday, March 9.

For all of the latest news and information on Tiger basketball, visit www.lsusports.net/basketball. Fans can also follow the program on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/lsubasketball along with @lsubasketball on Twitter.

HEAD COACH JOHNNY JONES

Opening statement ...
"We knew it would be a hard-fought battle playing against Arkansas tonight. With the way that the game took shape early on, I thought our guys did an excellent job of sharing the basketball. I thought Johnny (O'Bryant) did an excellent job of making passes out of the double team. I thought the guys shared the ball and did an excellent job of knocking down shots early, getting a big lead there in the first half. We knew that Arkansas would continue to fight, continue to battle. We came out in the second half and I thought we did a great job from the onset, defensively. Unfortunately, on the offensive end we did not execute, did not make plays that forced four or five minutes like we needed to when we were making stops on the other end. It allowed them to start making plays and getting back into the game. They cut into the lead after Johnny got into foul trouble, but I have to credit our guys. I thought they did an excellent job of playing well down the stretch, getting stops, making free throws to at least get out of here and secure the win at the end."

On playing with a large lead ...
"I just think it's a matter of executing and making plays. We put ourselves in great position, had a nice lead there. A few weeks back we were able to do that at South Carolina. We played with a lead. We were able to get the lead and have some cushion there and we executed the way we needed to. I think when you get a lead like that, and we talk about it all the time, it's important to execute on the offensive end, continue to get shutouts on the defensive end and not allow yourself to get into too big of a rush. There's not one shot that's going to beat that big basket, that's going to be a 13 or 15 point shot out there for you. We didn't do a great job of that. It was like we were trying to put them away too quick there right after halftime, and it kind of backfired on us."

On the play of G Charles Carmouche ...
"I thought he played exceptionally well. He went 9-11 from the field. I thought he did a great job of settling us down, especially when Johnny was out of the game. I thought he did a good job of getting to the basket, making tough plays, finishing at the rim, getting to the free throw line, and not only that. We look at his offensive stat line, and what you don't see is defensively he had an assignment out there tonight guarding B.J. Young, who's a tremendous player. He went 2-of-11 on the night and that was (Charles) Carmouche's assignment. I thought he did an excellent job of containing him coming off of a night where he played 50-something minutes in a triple-overtime game. Tonight I think he wound up playing about 35 minutes. So, I thought he gave us some great leadership tonight and played extremely well."

On G Charles Carmouche stepping his play up in the last three games ...
"Well, I came in and told him how he's responded since the Tennessee game in coming back, how his teammates kind of responded around him and how he has made that necessary adjustment, he's done an excellent job in terms of his growth, and he's played extremely well playing within himself. I think he's taken some real positive strides."

On G Charles Carmouche emerging as a team leader ...
"That's strong for him, and it's important. I think he has the goals that are out there. I think he understands where we are. We always talk about playing every second, every play and how much it means. I think he takes it to heart because he has a great understanding of how important it is for us to win and what it takes to get to where we're trying to go. We have to win games. Obviously, we're trying to position ourselves for the conference tournament, which is really important for us, in terms of seeding. We think everything else will take care of itself if we put ourselves in good position there."

On playing against a team with a similar fast-paced style ...
"It's easier, I think, anytime you're not worried about trying to create tempo out there. I think it's important that you understand how you have to really defend. I think you have to be disciplined in terms of defending, and at the same time, you have to be disciplined offensively as well and not get into fool's gold in taking shots too quick. Because they're available to you, you still have to really execute at a high level. Defensively, you have to make sure that you get back and balance the floor. You can't cheat up because they're looking for easy scoring opportunities as well."

On handling Arkansas' press down the stretch ...
"Generally, we talk about being poised under pressure. I thought we had a couple of bad reads. We were out-toughed on a couple of balls. We threw a long ball down and they were able to get their hands on it. We just needed to make sure that our spacing was better. We had a couple of guys going away from the ball that should have been running back. It was too long of a pass for us and Arkansas, because of their quickness and their speed, was able to run those balls down."

LSU PLAYER QUOTES

GUARD CHARLES CARMOUCHE

On hanging on to the lead toward the end of the game...
"We just had to keep fighting. Arkansas played hard for 40 minutes. They just kept their foot on the gas and kept coming after us. We just had to stay poised, handle the pressure and minimize our turnovers."

On the nice start in the first half...
"We were running. I think we are at our best when we are able to get transition buckets. We had a lot of transition buckets. Andre (Stringer) caught me a couple of times for some wide-open three's. When we are in transition I think we are at our best. In the half-court offense we are pretty good but we're not as effective."

On the teams' improvement after the 0-4 start in conference play...
"In a couple of interviews I said it's better to lose those games now than later. With a new team and a new coaching staff, I was fresh to this league. We learned through experience. We learned through those tough losses. We had a lot of tough games this year that we couldn't close out. We are growing and showing that we are a tournament-caliber type of team. We want to be one of those teams that are talked about to get in the tournament. We are just going to keep fighting and coming out every night playing 40 minutes and showing everybody that we are ready."


GUARD ANDRE STRINGER

On Charles Carmouche's leadership...
"We definitely credit (Carmouche's) experience. He's one of the guys that has experience from different places. He's been to some places that we haven't been yet. Just listening to his knowledge of the game is great. He shares a lot with our young players. I've learned a lot from him since he's been here. I just credit his experience." 

GUARD ANTHONY HICKEY

On feeding off of Carmouche's play...
"It's part of leadership. When you see one person doing big we all come in. We all have each other's back. All we have been waiting for is a leader. (Carmouche) is stepping up, and we are going to be right behind with him." 


COACH MIKE ANDERSON

On tonight's performance against LSU...
"I was disappointed. I thought we should have come out a lot better in the first half. We dug a big hole and you can't do anything in a hole. Our inability to make shots, free throws and our unfortunate turnovers really got us in that big hole. Our turnovers at the end turned into buckets for LSU. I think it was more of what we did rather than what LSU did to us. They did a good job of holding us off. Then we fought back and got it down to two. They went up three and we had a possession with the ball. Now we have to execute in that two-minute mark. We didn't execute going down that stretch."

On coming back in the second half...
"If we play the way we can play we are capable of doing that. I thought we did the things that we needed to in terms of attacking, creating havoc with our defense and getting to the free throw line. I just thought we were accurate."

On Charles Carmouche's performance tonight for LSU...
"I have always that he is the 'X' factor for LSU. He had a big game tonight."

On running out of time in the second half...
"We were right there. If there is a bright side to this I think it's that our guys fought back in the second half. Earlier in the season that probably wouldn't have happened. I thought defensively in the second half our effort was different from what took place during the first half."

On playing on the road...
"We are better than what we played tonight."

Arkansas Players

FORWARD MARSHAWN POWELL

On LSU building a big lead...
"Coach said before the game and they made a couple of three pointers. It's just our defense.  We allowed them to do what they wanted to do which was to drive and kick.  Which lead to open shots, which they made."

GUARD MARDRACUS WADE

On the loss...
"I think we dug ourselves in a hole for the first half. We gave up 45 points and it was just an uphill battle from there. We cut it to two points but we got into foul trouble and put them on the line. We had 19 turnovers but usually that's how many we want the other team to have. On the road, we have to be more patient and take care of the ball. Also, we missed some free-throw opportunities in the beginning of the game that we need to capitalize on. LSU came out with a lot of energy and shot the ball well in the first half. Carmouche, a transfer from Memphis, shot the ball really well and had a career-high of 26 points, which helped them out a lot. I think we did a good job on (Anthony) Hickey and (Johnny) O'Bryant, but the other guys helped them a lot.

On the key to LSU's first half...
"Although (Anthony) Hickey wasn't a scoring threat, he set their team up well. He made a lot of passes and kicked the ball out to get his guys good looks. He's the head and you have to cut the head off when you are playing against a team like that. We have to do a better job of keeping him out of the lane."

On struggling away from home...
"It's tough and you work so hard all year long that you figure you can get a couple of road wins. When you feel like you can get a win but you don't, it puts a lot on you. Like Coach says though, you have to have a short-term memory and take one practice and one game at a time.

On BJ Young's performance...
"He didn't look like he was trying to score as much so I didn't really know what was going on. He usually attacks or gets to the foul line so I'm not sure what's wrong. We obviously need BJ to score for us so he can't have games like this. Obviously Coach will get on him and talk about having to value the ball more. Hopefully we can get those things done in film and look at the positives and negatives of it."

 

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