The LSU men’s basketball team began a three-game homestand Wednesday evening and kicked things off properly with a thorough domination of the Arkansas Razorbacks, 92-76.
Arkansas scored the first four points of the game which wound up being its biggest lead of the night. After that relatively slow start, LSU hit the turbo boost and left Arkansas in the dust.
The Tigers went on a 16-0 run over a five minute stretch to give LSU a 22-7 lead at the under-12 timeout, but the run wouldn’t stop there. Five minutes later, LSU would extend its lead to 31 points. Added all up, LSU outscored Arkansas 38-6 over an 11:03 stretch of time.
All five starters scored double-digit points for LSU, led by double-doubles from Trendon Watford and Darius Days. Watford was the leading scorer with 23 points and 10 rebounds, while Days was the best rebounder and finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds.
Cam Thomas, who was questionable coming into tonight’s game because of a rolled ankle in the Ole Miss game, did indeed start and scored 17 points. Thomas had a rough night shooting—5 of 15 from the floor, 1 of 7 from three—but was able to get to the line eight times and added four rebounds and three assists.
LSU continues to take strides defensively, holding Arkansas to 34 percent shooting and 24 percent from three. The Razorbacks came into tonight’s game as one of the best shooting teams in the SEC, and LSU by and large shut them down.
While it was a thorough victory it wasn’t a perfectly played game by LSU. The Tigers had 19 turnovers and Arkansas’s bench outscored LSU’s by a staggering 43-10 margin. Arkansas also made the game closer than it appeared with a late 15-4 run to trim LSU’s lead from 24 to 13.
But LSU was never in danger of surrendering its lead, let alone getting into a one or two-possession game. In fact, LSU built its lead back up from 13 to 18 over the game’s final two minutes.
After opening January with a tough loss at Florida and holding on for dear life against Georgia, LSU has won its last two games comfortably. The Tigers have won three in a row and are a game behind Alabama for first place in the SEC.
Next up for LSU is a Saturday evening contest with South Carolina. The game will technically be for second place in the SEC as the Gamecocks have only played one game in conference, beating Texas A&M on January 6. Carolina hasn’t played since then and has only played five games this year.