Having broken a four-game losing streak, No. 25 Arkansas will look to keep going in the right direction when it faces LSU in Southeastern Conference play on Tuesday in Fayetteville, Ark.
The Razorbacks (13-6, 2-5) ended their season-high skid with a 69-57 win over visiting Ole Miss on Saturday.
LSU (12-7, 1-6) has troubles of its own. The Tigers are coming off a 77-56 home loss to No. 9 Tennessee, marking its sixth straight loss since a 60-57 win over then-No. 9 Arkansas on Dec. 28.
Arkansas pulled away in the second half against Ole Miss for its 11th win in its past 14 meetings against the Rebels.
Anthony Black had game highs of 17 points, eight assists and five steals, while Davonte Davis added 16 points, five rebounds and four assists. Jordan Walsh chipped in 13 points and seven rebounds, with Joseph Pinion finishing with 13 points and five rebounds.
“(Coach Eric Musselman) told us every game from now on is our Super Bowl,” Walsh said. “We went in treating it like that. … This was the first game that showed that this is who Arkansas is, and we’re going to be like this for a while.”
Arkansas forced Ole Miss to shoot 44.2 percent from the field and commit 17 turnovers, which the Razorbacks converted into 15 points. The Razorbacks’ 11 turnovers cost them just six points.
Ricky Council IV averages a team-high 17.2 points for the Razorbacks, while Black averages 12.7 points, 5.2 rebounds and a team-high four assists per game. Davis averages 9.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists.
LSU has learned firsthand how far it is away from being in the SEC’s upper echelon. Its loss to Tennessee was preceded by a 67-49 home defeat at the hands of No. 16 Auburn and a 106-66 setback at No. 4 Alabama.
“I think you have a team that is devastated right now,” LSU coach Matt McMahon said. “Not from today, but just from the last couple of weeks and the totality of where we’re at right now.”
LSU trailed Tennessee 15-7 midway through the first half before the deficit swelled to 39-22 at halftime. The Tigers fell behind by as many as 27 in the second half.
KJ Williams, who averages 17.8 points and 7.1 rebounds per game to lead the Tigers, had a team-high 16 points against Tennessee. Trae Hannibal, who averages 6.6 points per game, added 10.
Jalen Reed finished with nine points and a team-high five rebounds against the Volunteers.
The Tigers’ 19 turnovers were converted into 33 points by the Volunteers, while LSU scored just seven off Tennessee’s eight miscues.
When LSU and Arkansas tangled on Dec. 28 in Baton Rouge, the Tigers trailed 42-36 about midway through the second half before rallying.
With LSU clinging to a 56-55 lead, Hannibal’s layup with 32 seconds left made it a three-point game, before Black’s layup cut it to 58-57 with 21 seconds left.
Adam Miller made a pair of free throws with two seconds remaining to secure LSU’s victory.
Hannibal led the Tigers with 19 points, while Davis paced Arkansas with 16 points.
–Field Level Media