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Visitors battle back to beat Razorbacks 72-69

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Visitors battle back to beat Razorbacks 72-69

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas men’s basketball team relinquished an 18-point lead Wednesday night in a 72-69 loss to No. 24 LSU. Rotnei Clarke missed a contested three-point attempt with a shot at a tie and the game clock winding down. With the loss, Arkansas (13-11, 1-10) has now dropped six straight conference games.Clarke and Courtney Fortson led the Razorbacks with 17 points each. Michael Washington and Jason Henry each chipped in 10 points for Arkansas. LSU (22-4, 10-1) used its size advantage in the paint to outrebound the Hogs, 41-34, including an eight rebound advantage on the offensive boards.Off the momentum built at the end of the first half, LSU started the second half strong and tied the game, 36-36, on a lay-up by Marcus Thornton. The Tigers took their first lead of the game, 37-36, on a made free throw by Thornton at the 16:12 mark. Thornton finished the night with a game-high 28 points and Tasmin Mitchell added 20 for the visitors.Arkansas responded with a 9-2 run to regain the lead and stretch its advantage to six, 49-43. The scoring streak was capped by a Clarke lay-up with 12:31 to play. The Razorbacks took a nine-point lead, 56-47, when LSU was called for goaltending on an attempt by Henry with just under 10 minutes to play.As they had in the first half, the visitors battled back and tied the score at 68 on a lay-up by Thornton with 2:35 to play. LSU took its final lead when Mitchell stepped to the free throw line and gave his team a 70-69 advantage.The Razorbacks jumped out to a 7-0 lead and held LSU without a field goal until the 15:14 mark of the first half. Arkansas kept up the defensive pressure and stretched its lead to ten, 17-7, with a three-point basket by Marcus Britt with 9:39 to play in the opening half.Behind a three-point show by Clarke, the Razorbacks took a 26-9 lead with 7:55 to play until halftime. The freshman guard started the run with his second three pointer of the game and followed by converting a three-point play after being fouled on a drive to the goal. Clarke capped the personal nine-point streak with a step back three-point basket to give Arkansas the 17-point lead.LSU responded by cutting the lead to nine with 2:45 remaining in the first half and forced a timeout by the Razorbacks. After Clarke’s three-point play, the Tigers ended the half on a 16-6 run, but Arkansas still led, 32-26, at the break.Arkansas is now 9-4 when leading at halftime.The Razorbacks travel to South Carolina for a Saturday contest with the Gamecocks. The game is scheduled for a 6 p.m. tip. For continued coverage, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.



Sports Category : Basketball (M)