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RECAP: Explosive First-Half Propels Hogs Past LSU

NCAA Basketball: Louisiana State at Arkansas Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — After a close loss on the road, a Tigers player’s poorly worded tweet, and a slap heard around Arkansas Twitter—the Hogs looked to exact revenge on an LSUteam coming into Fayetteville with a 6-game losing streak. With a winter storm brewing outside of Bud Walton Arena, the conditions were ripe for that revenge to be served in the best way, cold.

The Razorbacks came out hitting on all cylinders, playing one of the best halves of basketball this season. For every one pointLSU scored, Arkansas scored around two points until a foul on Makhi Mitchell sent KJ Williams to the free throw line for three attempts at the 10:47 mark.

That sparked a huge, 23-2 run in the following 7 minutes and 20 seconds, highlighted by two 3-point baskets by Anthony Black and another by Devo Davis—who has yet to cool down from the 3-point range.

The offense went on a drought for the remaining 3:27 of the halfbut did exceptionally well on the defensive end. Now-infamous,Adam Miller was held to zero points in the first half by an incredible defensive effort from Devo Davis. The rest of the LSU team scored just 1 point in the last 3:27, bringing the score going into halftime 38-14, Hogs.

LSU came out of the locker room with newfound energy, scoring the first 6 points of the half and cutting the lead to 18. On defense, LSU switched to a zone defense which has caused Arkansas’s offense some trouble. A 9-2 run for the Tigers, led mostly by Adam Miller, cut the lead to 11.

The Hogs slowly grew the lead back and kept it around 20. Once a comfortable lead was established, it became lob/dunk/pick-and-roll city. The last 3 field goals for the Hogs came on a Jalen Graham and back-to-back Makhi Mitchell dunks, respectively.

The Tigers won the second-half—scoring 26 points to Arkansas’s 22, but it was not enough to overcome the dominant first half performance by the Hogs. Arkansas wins 60-40.

Arkansas shot a respectable 45% (23-51) from the field and 38% (5-13) from 3-point range. The Razorbacks recorded a 15:12 assist-to-turnover ratio and knocked down 75% (9-12) from the charity stripe.

The Hogs held LSU to shooting just 26% (14-54) and a ghastly 11% (1-9) from the perimeter. Arkansas forced 15 turnovers and stole 7 of those. The Razorbacks outrebounded LSU by just one board, 36-35

All the starters but Jordan Walsh finished in double figures in scoring. Devo Davis led the team with 16, followed by Anthony Black with 14, and Ricky Council IV & Makhi Mitchell with 10 points each. Mitchell was the rebound leader, pulling down 8. Black/Davis tied with 7 and Council pulled in another 6. Council distributed the ball well with 7 assists. Black and Davis were also key contributors with 3 a piece.

Arkansas travels to Waco, TX on January 28th to face No. 17 Baylor for the annual SEC/BIG 12 challenge. The Bears have won 5 of their last six games, including a 75-69 win over No. 9 Kansas.