FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- Arkansas is now faced with its first
losing streak of the season, and coach Stan Heath knows this
weekend's game with Vanderbilt is a big one.
"I don't think the season's over if you don't win it," Heath
said. "But it's a very important game to get, and protecting home
is so important."
Tasmin Mitchell scored 19 points, including a key jumper in the
final minute, and LSU held off the Razorbacks 63-58 Wednesday
night. Arkansas (11-4, 0-2 Southeastern Conference) has dropped two
straight after winning nine in a row -- the Razorbacks lost their
SEC opener 69-67 at Mississippi State on Saturday night.
Arkansas hosts the Commodores this Saturday.
"We're going to get out of this hole," the Razorbacks' Darian
Townes said. "We can't let this loss hurt us."
LSU won despite shooting 0-for-8 from 3-point range. The Tigers
(9-5, 1-0) have lost five games this season by a combined 11
points, including 67-66 to No. 4 Connecticut on Saturday. But
against Arkansas, LSU led the entire second half after rallying
from an early deficit.
"This was a big win on the road," Mitchell said. "It's a new
season for us. The good teams we played earlier in the season
helped us tonight."
The Tigers led by as many as 12 in the second half before
Arkansas pulled to 59-58 on Eric Ferguson's drive with just over a
minute remaining. Mitchell answered with a jumper from the left
wing to restore the lead to three, and after the Razorbacks called
time, Ferguson's pass to Ronnie Brewer was broken up by LSU's Glen
"They switched some things, and we didn't read the switches
very well," Heath said. "We just made an inadvertent pass."
The Razorbacks still had another chance -- Davis missed the front
end of a 1-and-1, and the rebound went out of bounds to Arkansas
with 5.5 seconds to play. LSU fouled rather than let the Razorbacks
attempt a tying 3-pointer, and Dontell Jefferson missed the front
end of a 1-and-1. Mitchell rebounded and made two free throws to
seal the win.
Mitchell had nine rebounds for the Tigers, and Tyrus Thomas had
13 points and 14 rebounds. Davis added 12 points and 10 rebounds.
LSU's starting lineup included three freshmen -- Mitchell, Thomas
and Garrett Temple -- and a sophomore, Davis. But the youthful
Tigers weren't intimidated by their first SEC game or the crowd of
18,689 at Bud Walton Arena.
"I am really proud of what our team was able to do tonight,"
LSU coach John Brady said. "This was good for our team to execute
down the stretch and take care of the ball. This is a great team
win that I feel is extremely deserved."
Brewer had 16 points for the Razorbacks, and Townes scored 14.
Townes also added eight rebounds, but Arkansas was beaten in that
department 44-34. LSU had 16 offensive rebounds, seven by the
6-foot-9, 310-pound Davis.
Arkansas led 26-14 in the first half before LSU went on a 15-2
run. Davis put the Tigers ahead 29-28 with a 3-point play, and LSU
led 32-31 at halftime.
The Tigers used a 10-0 run early in the second half to take a
"We just started missing shots, that's as simple as it is,"
Brewer said. "Their guys stepped up and made plays. We know we're
a good team, and we just need to dig deep and keep doing the things
we've been doing to be successful."