#20 Arkansas Tames Tigers, Win 9th Straight in SEC
FAYETTEVILLE – The 20th-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks used two big runs in the second half to take a 21-point lead with six minutes left and held on for an 83-75 over LSU Saturday afternoon at Bud Walton Arena. After the game, Arkansas honored its five seniors – Khalil Garland, Emeka Obukwelu, Vance Jackson Jr., Jalen Tate and Justin Smith.
The Razorbacks, winners of nine straight SEC games, improve to 19-5 (11-4 in the SEC) and took control of second place in the league with two regular-season games remaining on the schedule. LSU falls to 14-8 and 9-6 in the league.
Arkansas was down five points at halftime but had a 17-5 run early in the second half to lead by five (53-48) six minutes into the second half. The Hogs later used a 14-1 run to race out to a 21-point lead (78-57) with six minutes left in the game.
LSU made some 3-pointers down the stretch and Cameron Thomas had put-back layup with six seconds left to provide the 8-point margin of victory for the Razorbacks.
The game was the second straight “revenge” game win for Arkansas. Earlier in the year, Arkansas – playing without Smith due to an injury – lost back-to-back road games at LSU and Alabama by a combined 47 points and allowed over 90 points in each loss. This week, Arkansas defeated #6 Alabama 81-66 followed by today’s 83-75 victory.
As mentioned, Arkansas was without Smith in both games, but the senior has shined of late, posting double-doubles in each of the last two wins with 11 points and 12 rebounds versus Alabama followed by 19 points and 10 rebounds versus the Tigers.
Arkansas got 18 points each from Moses Moody and JD Notae. Moody made 11-of-14 free throws and added eight rebounds and five assists. Notae contributed six rebounds and two steals to lift the Razorbacks in the second half.
Freshmen Davonte Davis also provided a key second-half spark – making three straight layups at one point – to score 15 points with five boards and a career-high six assists.
Overall, Arkansas won the rebound battle and had 17 assists on 27 made baskets. The Hogs only shot 33 percent from the field in the first half but shot an impressive 55.2 percent in the second.
LSU’s Thomas led all scorers with 25 points and Josh LeBlanc had 10 rebounds.
Up next, Arkansas will travel to South Carolina to face the Gamecocks on Tuesday (Mar. 2). Tipoff is set for 5:30 pm (CT) and the game will be televised on SEC Network.
FIRST HALF: Arkansas 32 – LSU 37
- Arkansas scored first but was just 1-of-8 to start and trailed 8-2 at the first media timeout (15:31).
- JD Notae hit a jumper and 3-pointer and Arkansas trailed 16-13 at the second media timeout (11:02).
- LSU went on a run to lead 28-19 (737) and to force an Arkansas timeout.
- Arkansas went on a 7-0 run and LSU missed seven straight shots as the Hogs cut the deficit to three (30-27) at the final media timeout (3:37).
- Justin Smith, Davonte Davis and JD Notae each had seven points to lead the Razorbacks in the first half. Smith added six rebounds and Davis four assists.
- LSU’s Cameron Thomas had 13 points to lead all scorers.
SECOND HALF: Arkansas 51 – LSU 38
- Arkansas had a 17-5 run (including an 8-0 spurt at the end) with dunks by Davonte Davis and Moses Moody. JD Notae followed with a steal and layup to tie the game at 46-46 at the 15:38 mark.
- Moses Moody converted five straight free throws at 15:08 to give Arkansas a five-point lead (51-48) – its first lead since the first basket of the game.
- Devonte Davis made three layups as part of a 14-1 run (including 8-0 to close it) to open a 16-point lead (70-54) with 8:09 left.
- Two minutes later, JD Notae converted an old-fashion 3-point play to push the Razorbacks’ lead to 21 (78-57).
- After that, LSU closed the game with a 22-5 run to make it an 8-point game when the final buzzer sounded.
- Arkansas guards combined for 15 rebounds in the second half as the Hogs out-rebounded the Tigers 23-12 in the frame.
- Arkansas went undefeated in February for the first time since 1993-94.
- Arkansas has won nine straight SEC games, the program’s best streak since winning the final 11 regular-season games in 1993-94.
- Arkansas was undefeated in November (2-0) and December (7-0) this year marking the first time since 1993-94 the program had multiple undefeated months – 1-0 in November, 7-0 in December and 8-0 in February).
- Arkansas is 399-114 all-time when playing as a ranked team. Arkansas is 19-5 when playing as the #20 team in the AP poll.
- Arkansas is 38-33 all-time versus LSU (34-38 since Arkansas joined the SEC) and 21-8 versus the Tigers in Fayetteville.
- Eric Musselman is 41-12 when his team is ranked, 3-0 at Arkansas. Eric Musselman is 31-12 in February, 9-6 at Arkansas.
- Arkansas’ starting lineup was Jalen Tate (G) – Davonte Davis (G) – Moses Moody (G) – Justin Smith (F) – Connor Vanover (F) for the sixth consecutive game. The lineup is 6-0.
- Arkansas won the opening tip. Arkansas is 13-2 when controlling the tip.
- Davonte Davis scored the game’s first points, a jumper in the lane at 18:57. Arkansas is 14-3 when scoring first. Eric Musselman is 89-23 as a collegiate head coach when his team scorers first – 23-7 at Arkansas.
- JD Notae was the first sub for Arkansas for a team-best ninth time. Arkansas is 8-1 when Notae is the first sub.
- Arkansas won despite trailing at halftime. The Razorbacks are 4-4 this season when trailing at halftime (3-1 at home). Eric Musselman is 33-44 as a collegiate head coach when trailing at halftime (8-15 at Arkansas).
- Arkansas out-rebounded the Tigers (45-39) and the Hogs are 15-1 this season when out-rebounding their opponent.
- Arkansas shot 43.5 percent from the field – thanks to shooting 55.2% in the second half – compared to LSU shooting 39.5 percent. Eric Musselman is 122-9 when his team shoots a better percentage than the opponent – 33-4 at Arkansas.
- Justin Smith recorded his second-straight double-double and the eighth of his career. It was his 10th career double-digit rebound game – fifth this season.
- JD Notae scored 18 points, his most since scoring 19 at Vanderbilt (Jan. 23). His six rebounds tie a season high and are his most in an SEC game. He has scored in double figures 17 times this season and 64 times in his career.
- Desi Sills sank a 3-pointer, ending a streak of five-straight without a triple.
- Davonte Davis tied his career high with six assists.
- Moses Moody made double-digit free throws for the second straight game. He was 11-of-14 to lead to his 18 points. Moody added seven rebounds and he has at least five boards in six straight games. Moody also had a career-high five assists. He has 12 assists over the last three games.
- For the second straight game, Jaylin Williams led the team in Plus-Minus. He was +3- vs Alabama Wednesday and +15 versus LSU Saturday. He had a career-high four blocked shots and tied his career high with two assists. He had just one blocked shot over his previous seven games.
- Jalen Tate played a season-low 12:22 (3:29 in the first half) due to foul trouble. However, he pulled down six rebounds – all in the second half. The six boards were one shy of his season-best effort and were his best in an SEC game.
- Arkansas scored 51 second-half points. They have scored at least half-a-hundred six times in a half this season.
- In 9-of-the-last-10 games, Arkansas has shot at least 43 percent from the field, hooting 43.5% today. Arkansas shot 55.2% in the second half, marking the third time in the nine-game SEC win streak the team has shot at least 50% in a half.
- Arkansas blocked six shots and have blocked at least five in 10 of the last 11 games – getting “just” three at Kentucky.
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