BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- Darrel Mitchell had an opportunity for a
game-winning shot against Connecticut last month.
Mitchell missed that 3-point attempt, but on Wednesday against
Arkansas he was right on target with another one. Mitchell made his
shot with 11.2 seconds remaining to give the Tigers a 78-77
Southeastern Conference victory against the Razorbacks.
"This was not really redemption because it wasn't against
Connecticut," Mitchell said. "But, this was a real big shot and a
real big win."
The game-winning basket from three feet above the top of the key
by Mitchell followed a furious comeback by the Razorbacks. Ronnie
Brewer made two free throws with 51 seconds remaining to cap a 14-0
run that put Arkansas ahead 77-75.
Freshman Sean McCurdy, who had taken six foul shots all season,
was fouled with 24.4 seconds to go. McCurdy, who was inserted into
the game when the Razorbacks got possession after the held ball,
missed both free throw attempts.
Tyrus Thomas rebounded the second attempt to set the stage for
Mitchell's game-winning basket.
"I didn't think about taking a two-point shot," Mitchell said.
"I came off a screen and Glen's man backed off. I was open so I
took it. I felt good coming off the screen and the shot felt good
coming out my hand. I knew it was in."
The Razorbacks, who were out of timeouts, had the last shot.
However, Brewer missed a hurried shot inside the circle and
Mitchell grabbed the rebound to clinch the victory for LSU.
"I was trying to get separation from (Temple)," Brewer said.
"I pump faked and (Temple) jumped. I tried to step through and I
had an open look at the basket. Unfortunately, it didn't fall for
The Tigers (16-6, 8-1), who moved back into a first-place tie
with Tennessee in the overall SEC standings, were led by Mitchell
with 27 points. Davis contributed 19 points and 16 rebounds, while
Thomas scored 11 points.
"College basketball is something, isn't it?" LSU coach John
Brady said. "I thought we had the game won on a couple of
different occasions when we had 14-point leads. We made some
careless turnovers. For about a six minute stretch, we didn't make
the proper decisions to close the game out."
"Those kids are hurting," Arkansas coach Stan Heath said.
"That was an incredible effort. I have never experienced games
like this where they just go south on you in different ways."
The Razorbacks took advantage of six consecutive LSU turnovers
during their late rally. With Arkansas behind 75-63, Brewer made a
3-pointer and converted a three-point play.
Following baskets by Thomas and Townes, Brewer tied the score
with a basket at the 2:02 mark. Two possessions later, Brewer made
the two foul shots that gave the Razorbacks their first and only
lead of the game.
A quick start propelled LSU to its 39-33 halftime lead. The
Tigers jumped on top 10-1 in the first 3½ minutes as Arkansas
missed its first four field goal attempts and committed two
Mitchell and Temple each made 3-pointers while Davis made a pair
of baskets in the lane. The Razorbacks' only point came on a foul
shot by Brewer. Arkansas' first field goal was made by Brewer with
16:18 remaining in the first half.
After going ahead at the outset, LSU nursed its advantage until
halftime. On four occasions, the Tigers had a ten-point lead - the
last being at 24-14. The Razorbacks reduced their deficit to four
points at 28-24 after a 3-pointer by Modica and a field goal by
Mitchell then hit a 3-pointer to give LSU a seven-point lead.
Modica's third 3-pointer of the half put Arkansas behind by six
points at the half.
Holding a six-point halftime advantage, LSU immediately
increased its cushion as it took the Tigers slightly more than two
minutes to grab their largest lead of 11 points. Davis and Thomas
each made a foul shot.
Thomas then made a field goal. After a basket by Brewer,
Mitchell converted a three-point play to push LSU ahead 46-35 with
17:54 remaining in the game.
The Razorbacks trailed by nine points following two foul shots
by Townes. But, Mitchell responded with a field goal and a
3-pointer to give the Tigers a 60-46 lead with 11:01 to play.
A 7-0 run, fueled by three LSU turnovers, enabled Arkansas to
pull within seven points at 63-56 after a basket by Eric Ferguson.
But, the Tigers again answered with field goals by Davis and Ben
Voogd to take an 11-point lead.