PICTURES FROM GAME Image: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-9jLAoxIKESI/US9O33llZjI/AAAAAAAABSY/J4hAoVyDWZY/s1600/IMG_0544.JPG
LSU (17-9,8-7) held on to beat Arkansas (17-11,8-7) by five 65-60 after leading by 22 in the first half. The disparity between first half and second half numbers are significant. LSU scored 45 points in the first half and only 20 in the second half. LSU had 13 assists on 18 first half baskets and 0 assists on only 4 second half field goals. LSU held a significant lead in rebounding in the first half, before Arkansas took that lead 42-35. LSU gritted out a win on the back of senior Charles Carmouche.
Carmouche scored over 20 for the third straight home game and had a career high 26 against the Razorbacks. He was 9 of 11 from the field making three from deep and five of seven from the charity stripe. He grabbed 5 rebounds, had 2 assists and 2 steals to round out his night. He scored 11 of LSU's 20 second half points and held Arkansas star BJ Young to only 2 of 11 shooting and his second lowest scoring total of the year.
Anthony Hickey was the only other Tiger in double figures (10). Johnny O'Bryant was held in check, due in large part to his foul trouble. He picked up his second foul with 8:19 remaining in the first half and had to sit the remainder of the half. An amazing stat for LSU was of their 45 first half points, zero were from their scoring leader. He opened the second half with the first points and what would be his only field goal of the game. He picked up his forth foul with 14:11 remaining in the game and sat till the four minute mark. He logged only 21 minutes, his lowest total since the Florida game where he played 14 minutes.
While having to sit O'Bryant was hard on the team, they were able to answer some questions in his absence. First off, even with his 6'9" stature, Jalen Courtney is about as soft as can be. He really struggled with his defense in the paint. On the other hand, Shane Hammink looked more comfortable in the 4 position than I expected.He was able to grab rebounds almost at will and his length helped with his defense. In limited minutes he showed that he can be counted on to play post minutes in a bind. Image: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-AXCeXR1V3v4/US9YeTNHglI/AAAAAAAABV4/eWEWYi72Eyk/s1600/SoS+post+Akransas.png
Charles Carmouche really carried the Tigers. He had the largest percentage of SoS for the year, contributing nearly 33% of the Tigers production. Del Piero did an excellent job rebounding early and played a very gritty second half while in foul trouble. Noteworthy, Hickey had one of his better nights shooting three pointers making 2 of his 4 attempts. His 5 assists also led the team. While the second half wasn't pretty, LSU kept working hard on defense and contained Arkansas' rally. Image: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-3WKqf2PTrFg/US9YeXSymmI/AAAAAAAABVw/FhCdsa3pEGY/s1600/Standings+2.27.png
The win pulled LSU into 7th place, just 1/2 game behind Missouri (plays @South Carolina tonight) for sixth place. LSU plays Missouri on the road Saturday in what would be a monumental win for the Tigers. Coach Jones 17-9 LSU career record gives him the best winning percentage (65.4%) for a Tiger coach since Tad Gormley's (69.4%) 25-11 record from 1921-1923. LSU also goes above .500 in league play for the first time since starting last season 1-0 in SEC play.
There was a lot of movement in SEC Tournament seeding last night. Arkansas dropped from being in the 5 seed spot all the way to the 8 seed spot. Texas A&M dropped into the bottom 4 after their loss to Ole Miss. Vanderbilt holds the tie breaker over the Aggies with their win over the cadets earlier this month. Tennessee has really climbed and sits in the 5 spot now after being in 8th just a week ago. Florida is thanking LSU for their victory over Alabama who would have taken the 1 seed from the Gators if they had won over the weekend.
With three games left, there is a lot of work to do. The middle of the pack is tight and an unexpected win or loss could make or break LSU's seeding. The coveted 6 seed is still in sight and a win over Missouri on Saturday would make it not only possible to attain, but likely. LSU just has to keep winning. Image: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/--e2qm3ngPBQ/US9bsLB66UI/AAAAAAAABWg/HW82sWauCcE/s1600/Tournament+Bracket+2.27.png