FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas-LSU came down to a last-second three-pointer again, but this time it was LSU shooting and Antonio Hudson’s shot was off the mark as the Razorbacks held on for a 65-62 Southeastern Conference victory Saturday.
The first time they played, at Baton Rouge on Jan. 19, Michael Jones’ apparent game-winning three at the buzzer was ruled a two and LSU went on to win 66-63 in overtime.
Arkansas led the entire second half and took its largest lead at 51-36 on an Eric Ferguson three-pointer with 13:05 remaining. The Razorbacks were up 63-56 with 2:55 left on a Jonathon Modica jumper, but LSU made it tight. Glen Davis, who had 28 points and 16 rebounds in the first meeting but was limited to 11 points and seven boards Saturday, converted a three-point play to get the Tigers within 63-59 with 2:21 left.
Darian Townes, who went against the 6-8, 310-pound Davis most of the day and had 14 points and a season-high nine rebounds, made two free throws in a one-and-one situation with 1:49 to go to push the lead to six. Hudson hit a three with 56 seconds left to get LSU within three.
Arkansas missed a jumper after winding down the shot clock, and LSU rebounded and called timeout with 13 seconds left. The Tigers worked the ball around and Hudson pulled up from the right wing with Olu Famutimi guarding and his shot was off the rim. The horn sounded as players for both teams battled for the rebound.
The win, which gives Arkansas a three-game SEC winning streak for the first time since 2001, improves the Razorbacks to 17-7 overall and 5-6 in the conference. The five league wins are the most since UA went 6-10 in 2002. The 17 wins are the most since 2001 when the Hogs were 20-10.
The game drew a crowd of 20,273, the sixth-largest ever in Bud Walton Arena.
“That win was special,” UA head coach Stan Heath said. “I was really proud of the guys. That was as good a performance as I have seen. We needed that win. The crowd fed us and we fed them. Thanks go out to the crowd. It is nice for us to get a little more momentum and take us deeper into the SEC schedule. Jonathon (Modica) was exceptional today. He not only had some points but some boards, too. He was huge today. He’s back. He has his swagger.”
Jonathon Modica, who was put back into the starting lineup three games ago against Ole Miss, had his best game of the year. He was 10-of-16 from the floor, including four-of-seven on threes, and scored a game and season-high 25 points. He also matched Townes for high-game honors with a season-high nine rebounds. He scored nine of Arkansas’ first 11 points, all less than five minutes into the game, and finished the first half seven-of-10 for 17 points.
Brewer, UA’s leading scorer coming in, didn’t score in the first 13 minutes but had 16 the rest of the way on five-of-five shooting.
Modica, Brewer and Townes, who had eight points, were the only Razorbacks to score in the first half, but Arkansas ended the period with a 13-3 run to lead 41-32 at the half.
Brewer was six-of-10 for the game and finished with 19 points and three assists.
Brandon Bass and Tack Minor had 14 points each for LSU, and Darrel Mitchell scored 12.
Arkansas shot 42 percent for the game and offset 15 turnovers by holding LSU to 41 percent shooting and hitting 16-of-17 free throws for a percentage of .941, which ties for the fourth-best in school history. After getting outrebounded 42-29 in the first meeting, Arkansas had a 34-29 advantage Saturday.
UA travels to Alabama on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. game, which is being televised by Jefferson-Pilot Sports.