FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -Gary Ervin scored 17 points in his return to the starting lineup, and Arkansas scored 21 unanswered points in the first half to pull away for an 87-61 win over LSU on Wednesday night.
The Razorbacks led 51-28 after a first half in which they made nine 3-pointers. They made a season-high 11 for the game, surpassing their previous mark of 10 set at LSU last month.
Ervin, Arkansas’ senior point guard, started for the first time since the third game of the season. He went 7-of-13 from the field and added six rebounds in 25 minutes.
Stefan Welsh, the Razorbacks’ other point guard, scored 10 points in 22 minutes. Darian Townes made all six of his field goal attempts and scored 12 points for Arkansas.
The Razorbacks (18-7, 7-4 Southeastern Conference) were coming off tough losses last week at Tennessee and Mississippi State, but they have now won four straight at home, and only one of those victories was by under 19 points. Arkansas led by as many as 28 in the second half against LSU.
After Garrett Temple pulled the Tigers even at 14 with a free throw, the Razorbacks quickly broke the game open. Patrick Beverley stole the ball in front of the LSU bench, dribbled while regaining his balance, then made an acrobatic layup while being fouled. The 3-point play made it 22-14.
Vincent Hunter and Welsh made back-to-back 3-pointers to push the lead to 14. Arkansas then finished the run with a dunk by Townes, a 3-pointer by Sonny Weems and a tip-in by Townes that made it 35-14 with 8:05 left in the half.
Arkansas was 9-of-13 from 3-point range at halftime. The Razorbacks finished 11-of-23. They went 10-of-15 from long distance in a 68-52 win over the Tigers on Jan. 26.
LSU (9-16, 2-9) has lost three of four under interim coach Butch Pierre, who took over after John Brady was fired earlier this month. With Pierre in charge, the Tigers had earlier won at Florida and lost narrowly to Tennessee and Kentucky.
They couldn’t keep it close against Arkansas, though. Terry Martin led LSU with 18 points and Anthony Randolph added 16.
Weems scored 11 points for the Razorbacks, and Beverley added nine points and nine rebounds.
The Razorbacks head back on the road for two more games, including coach John Pelphrey’s return to Kentucky on Saturday. Pelphrey played for the Wildcats under Eddie Sutton and Rick Pitino and was part of the Kentucky team that nearly upset Duke in the 1992 NCAA quarterfinals.