After spending most of the second half impressively clawing back from an 18 point deficit, the No. 19 LSU Tigers fell to the Arkansas Razorbacks 90-89 Saturday night in the PMAC. The Razorbacks improve to 13-8 (4-4 SEC) while the Tigers fall to a 17-4 (7-1) record, evening up the season series between the two teams.
The Razorbacks shot an incredible 63.3% from the field in the first half, but good free throw shooting by the Tigers kept the score relatively close at 45-41 at the end of the half. They continued to shoot very well early in the second half, building a 10-0 run by the 13:45 mark to lead LSU 66-48.
You could hear a pin drop in the PMAC. I could hear my own typing.
The Tigers answered with a seven point run of their own, but the Razorbacks wouldn’t let any run stick, always answering a big play with a three pointer or two. LSU would go on a 4, 5 point run, Arkansas would hit a three pointer. The Tigers honestly could’ve cut the lead down much quicker if Arky wasn’t shooting the absolute lights out; their foul trouble and LSU’s free throw shooting gave the Tigers an edge that would normally result in a comfortable win.
After a Naz Reid dunk and a Skylar Mays layup, the Tigers regained a one point lead with 3:39 left to play. The two teams traded free throws and the lead until LSU found themselves up one point with two minutes left to play.
With a one point lead and 36 seconds to play, Tremont Waters attempted an alley-oop pass to Marlon Taylor...it did not go as planned.
A mid range shot by Mason Jones gave the Razorbacks the lead with 22 seconds left. Again, instead of calling a timeout to draw up a play on the last possession of the game, Will Wade chose to let them play. This time, no whistle blew after the ball didn’t fall.
Though the result was disappointing, it was truly incredible and fun to watch our guys claw back from such a huge deficit. The PMAC got by far the loudest it’s been since Will Wade took over the team, and he confirmed as much in the postgame presser. Though there may be silver linings in a loss like this that may teach valuable lessons, Wade is more focused on the result and what it means now.
“No,” Wade said after being asked if this loss would lead to wins. “I like to win. There’s not anything good in losing.”
When the other team is shooting the way Arkansas did, it’s hard to make a comeback like the Tigers did, let alone stay in the game. At the end of the day, Arkansas made 13-of-24 three pointers, good for 54.2%.
The Tigers shot 5-of-24 from the arc, and a lot of those misses were uncontested. Those misses are just going to happen sometimes, LSU is a great shooting team but it just wasn’t falling tonight.
LSU has a lot to work on between the turnovers and giving some Razorback shooters the space they did, but it’s a good sign of things when I’ve got multiple folks texting and messaging me during the game and talking about the crazy comeback and atmosphere. The fans were back in the PMAC and more and more people are watching these Tigers make something special this year, tonight is but a scratch.
The Tigers will head to Starkville Wednesday night where they are awaited by the No. 22 Mississippi State Bulldogs. The Bulldogs currently have a 16-5 (4-4) record after knocking off Ole Miss on the road this afternoon.