Comeback Against LSU Comes Up Short

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Down 13 in the second half, Daniel Gafford (32 points) and the Razorbacks stormed back against LSU and tied the game, 81-81, to force overtime. The Tigers outscored Arkansas 13-7 in the overtime period to come away with the 94-88 win.

FAYETTEVILLE – Daniel Gafford scored a career-high 32 points, including a dunk to force overtime, but LSU hit a pair of 3-pointers to start the extra period and held on for a 94-88 victory Saturday evening at Bud Walton Arena.

For the second straight game, Arkansas came back from a double-digit deficit in the second half but ultimately would suffer a six-point loss. In fact, all five Razorback losses have come down to the wire this season with an average margin of defeat being 3.8 points.

With 9:19 left in the second half, Arkansas was down 12 (73-61). The Razorbacks went on a 12-0 run including five points from Gafford and a game-tying dunk by Reggie Chaney with 5:00 left in regulation. LSU’s largest led inside the last five minutes of the second half was four points (81-77), but Mason Jones converted a layup on a steal from Chaney with 1:58 left and, after getting a stop on the defensive end, Arkansas tied the game at 81-81 on a Gafford dunk with 30 ticks left.

LSU got two shots to win it in regulation but could not convert to put the game in overtime.

Gafford started overtime with a layup, which was the Razorbacks’ only lead in the game. LSU erased its only deficit 30 seconds later on a Ja’vonte Smart 3-pointer. Naz Reid, who was 4-of-4 from 3-point range, followed with a jumper beyond the arc. Gafford answered with a dunk and Isaiah Joe later made a free throw to get Arkansas to within three (89-86) with 1:36 left in overtime. However, that is as close as the Razorbacks could get.

In addition to Gafford’s 32 points, Mason Jones contributed 22 with six rebounds. Chaney bounced back strong to score tie his career high in both points (12) and steals (4) while blocking two shots.

Reid led Tigers with 27 points. Tremont Williams recorded a double-double as he scored 17 points and had 11 assists. Marion Taylor was 7-of-8 from the field and 6-6 from the free throw line in scoring 21 points.

Arkansas will hit the road for a pair of SEC road games. First, the Razorbacks will play at Tennessee on Tuesday (Jan. 15) at 6 pm on ESPN2. Arkansas will then travel to Ole Miss on Saturday (Jan. 19) with tip-off set for Noon on the SEC Network.

FIRST HALF: Arkansas 42 – LSU 50

  • Arkansas was down seven early but Reggie Chaney went on a 6-0 run to get the Razorbacks to within one, 16-15. Chaney had a layup, a jumper and a fast break dunk off a steal.
  • Arkansas could not get any closer as the Tigers made six 3-pointers, compared the Razorbacks’ one, in the first 20 minutes.
  • Daniel Gafford had 16, first-half points and Reggie Chaney added 10, making all five shots from the field he attempted.

SECOND HALF: Arkansas shoots 54 percent from the field and held LSU to 38 percent shooting.

  • LSU threatened to take complete control of the game but Adrio Bailey scored six points and had two rebounds in a two-minute span to keep the Tigers within striking distance with 11 minutes to left in regulation.
  • After being down 12 with 9:19 left, Arkansas went on a 12-0 run over a 4:21 span to tie the game, 73-73. Tremont Williams ended the LSU drought with two free throws with 4:21 left.
  • While Arkansas never led in regulation, the Razorbacks tied the game four times inside the final five minutes.

 GAME NOTES:

  • Prior to the game, Sidney Moncrief, member of the 2018 National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, presented the game ball and was honored during a timeout for his recent induction.
  • Arkansas’ starters were Isaiah Joe (G) – Jalen Harris (G) – Mason Jones (G) – Adrio Bailey (F) – Daniel Gafford (F). This has been the starting lineup in 14 of Arkansas’ 15 games.
  • LSU controlled the tip. LSU’s Naz Reid scored the first points of the game at 19:32. Mason Jones scored Arkansas’ first points on two free throws after a technical foul on LSU at 19:31.
  • This was the 67th meeting between Arkansas and LSU. The Razorbacks own a 35-31 advantage in the series, including a 31-26 advantage in games since Arkansas joined the SEC in 1991-92. Arkansas is 19-8 in games played in Fayetteville.
  • Arkansas dropped back-to-back home games for the first time since falling to Florida (Feb. 18) and Alabama (Feb. 23) in Coach Anderson’s first season.
  • Despite the loss, Arkansas is 47-17 (73.4%) in SEC games played at Bud Walton Arena under head coach Mike Anderson. Also, Arkansas is an impressive 25-6 in Saturday SEC home games under head coach Mike Anderson.
  • For the first time this season, Isaiah Joe did not make a 3-pointer, going 0-for-1. He entered the game as the SEC leader in both 3-pointers made and 3-point percentage.
  • Desi Sills finished with five assists and zero turnovers.
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