FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.—The LSU men’s basketball team (20-10, 8-9 SEC) fell to No. 14 Arkansas (24-6, 13-4 SEC) in heartbreaking fashion, 77-76, Wednesday night at Bud Walton Arena.
A final shot attempt by a driving point guard from Xavier Pinson wasn’t good, sealing his team’s fate.
Tari Eason led LSU in scoring with 24 points in 18 minutes. Darius Days put up 19 points and snagged six boards.
The first half was a track meet with both teams knotted at 35 after 20 minutes. Darius Days and Xavier Pinson led LSU with 10 points each at the break. Jaylin Williams led Arkansas with 13 points and Au’Diese Toney had 10.
The second half was a dogfight for each side. Both teams traded baskets, ending up with six ties and eight lead changes at the conclusion of the game.
LSU went on a 7-0 run in the first 90 seconds, but Arkansas countered with a 6-0 run of their own. After that, no team led by more than four until the 7:14 mark when Mwani Wilkinson hit a corner three to put the Tigers up six.
LSU’s biggest lead of the game, seven points, came after Eason’s free throw at the 6:31 mark. Arkansas would cut the deficit down to four, a lead LSU held until 1:47 was left. Tari Eason fouled out of the game with 1:35 remaining, putting Arkansas’s Au’Diese Toney to the line as he knocked both free throws down, then hit a fastbreak layup to tie the match at 74 with 73 seconds left. Xavier Pinson hit a layup with 52 seconds to put the Tigers up two, but Mwani Wilkinson was called for a flagrant one on a hooking call, putting Arkansas at the line and possession.
Kamani Johnson would hit one free throw, cutting the LSU lead to 76-75. The Tigers would get a stop, but came up empty on the offensive end, giving Arkansas one more chance to score. LSU fouled Razorback J.D. Notae with 8.6 seconds left as Notae would knock home both free throws, giving Arkansas a 77-76 lead.
Stanley Umude led Arkansas with 23 points. Jaylin Williams had 19 points and Toney had 18.
The Tigers’ regular-season finale will be a matchup against Alabama at the PMAC on Saturday, March 5 at 11:00 a.m. on CBS. Tickets can be purchased at LSUTix.net