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RECAP: Hogs Can’t Stop Tigers Hot Shooting

Anyone want to put a hand up in a three point shooter’s face? Anyone?

NCAA Basketball: Arkansas at Louisiana State Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

LSU hit 15 threes, most of them wide open, and that shooting allowed them to cruise to a 86-94 win against Arkansas. LSU’s game plan was as simple as it was effective. Let Tremont Waters blow by any Arkansas guard who tried to guard him, take advantage of a slow rotation, and get a wide open three that usually fell. On the other side of the ball the Tigers allowed the Hogs to have space to take very inefficient long two point shots, and Arkansas wasn’t smart enough to not take them. They took the bait and a poor shooting stretch dumped them into an early hole.

Arkansas started out relatively well, the offensive drought that has become common in the first half started half way through the half. Arkansas had nearly a five minute stretch where they were 0/8 from the field and LSU had stretched their lead out to what they needed by the time the Hogs’ offense got going.

Any chance of coming back was killed when the Hogs continued to allow wide open shots from deep. LSU hit their first three shots from outside, and even though the offense had improved Arkansas couldn’t ever cut into the lead substantially. The closest they could trim the lead down to was four on a couple of occasions, but LSU answered with runs both times.

The Daryl Macon and Jaylen Barford duo started slow but picked up as the game went one, they combined for 37 points. Trey Thompson kept the game from really getting ugly early with nine of his 11 points coming in the first half. Outside of that there was just nothing consistent about the Hogs offensively.

The game isn’t a particularly devastating loss as far as NCAA Tournament chances go, plenty of teams have made runs to the dance with a 15-8 record. What I mean by that is LSU isn’t going to be one of those dreadful RPI losses that bracketologists look at with disdain. The SEC has improved to the point that these losses aren’t killers.

What it does show, however, that Arkansas doesn’t have the defense to give any confidence that a late season run is in the cards. Arkansas likely needs to win out at home to make the NCAA Tournament. In the past that seemed like a reasonable ask out of an Arkansas team, but the awful defense this team has won’t get them where they want to go.