Johnny O'Bryant and Jordan Mickey combined for 45 points and 20 rebounds as LSU defeated Arkansas 88-74 in a Southeastern Conference game on Saturday afternoon at the PMAC.
For the second consecutive game, LSU got off to a quick start. The Tigers outscored the Razorbacks 26-9 in the first ten minutes. O'Bryant and Jarell Martin were responsible for 15 of the 26 points. O'Bryant made four field goals, while Martin made three baskets, including one 3-pointer. Mickey had one field goal. Anthony Hickey, Andre Stringer and Shavon Coleman each knocked down a 3-pointer. LSU made 11 of its 16 field goal attempts in that stretch. With the Tigers on top 12-6, O'Bryant started a 14-3 run with two field goals. Arkansas missed 13 of its first 17 field goal attempts. LSU was in control of the game for the rest of the afternoon.
KEY PERIOD IN FIRST HALF
The Razorbacks scored five consecutive points on a 3-pointer by Fred Gulley and two free throws by Bobby Portis to reduce their deficit to 15 points at 31-16 with 4:35 remaining. However, LSU did not permit Arkansas to cut into its lead over the next 4½ minutes. Mickey and Hickey both made field goals to put the Tigers ahead 35-16. After two free throws by Coty Clarke and a 3-pointer by Rashad Madden, Mickey answered with a three-point play. Mickey made another basket as LSU took a 40-25 lead into halftime.
KEY PERIOD IN SECOND HALF
Arkansas went on an 18-4 run to pull within six points of LSU at 74-68 with 4:53 remaining in the game. Kikko Haydar made a 3-pointer and four free throws for the Razorbacks. A 3-pointer by Mardracus Wade put Arkansas six points behind. However, the Tigers clinched the victory by scoring nine straight points. Martin started the outburst with a 3-pointer. O'Bryant made a basket before Mickey added four points on a field goal and two foul shots to put LSU on top 83-68 with 2:20 remaining. The Hogs came up empty on five straight possessions - four missed shots and one turnover.
LSU'S TOP STARTER
Mickey had his best game of the season with 22 points, 11 rebounds and six blocked shots. The 22 points were the most for Mickey in a SEC game. Mickey's season-high is 25 points against Louisiana-Monroe. He reached double figures in rebounds for the second time in a SEC game. Mickey had 13 boards against Missouri. The six blocked shots were one off his season-high - seven against Ole Miss. Mickey was 9-of-17 from the field and 4-of-4 at the foul line. The nine field goals were one shy of his season-best of ten against Rhode Island. The six blocked shots give Mickey 75 for the season - the seventh most for any LSU player. Only four Tigers have blocked more shots in a season - Shaquille O'Neal, Tyrus Thomas, Stromile Swift and Chris Johnson. Mickey passed Anthony Randolph, who blocked 70 shots in 2008.
LSU'S TOP RESERVE
Stringer seems to be settling in quite comfortably into his backup role. Playing 22 minutes, Stringer scored ten points and handed out two assists. Stringer was 3-of-5 from the field, including 2-of-4 on 3-pointers. Stringer made both of his foul shots. Stringer had one steal to give him 121 for his career. He is tied with Maurice Williamson for 17th place on the school's all-time list.
LSU'S UNSUNG HERO
O'Bryant had another outstanding performance - his fifth straight game with at least 16 points. O'Bryant was 11-of-16 from the field - his best shooting night of the season. He also grabbed nine rebounds and registered a season-high four assists to go along with his 23 points. In the past five games, O'Bryant has averaged 22 points and eight rebounds.
LSU shot 55 percent from the field (35-of-64) - its second highest percentage of the season. The Tigers made 56 percent of their field goal attempts against Memphis. In the second half, LSU shot 64 percent from the field (18-of-28). The Tigers made 44 percent of their 3-point attempts (7-of-16). Arkansas shot just 33 percent from the field (21-of-64), including 27 percent on 3-pointers (7-of-26). LSU easily outrebounded the Razorbacks 45-33. The Tigers recorded a season-high 22 assists, while Arkansas had just seven. LSU had a 48-24 margin in points in the paint. Arkansas did outscore LSU on points off turnovers 23-10. The Tigers had 14 turnovers - four more than the floor errors by the Hogs.
For the second straight game, LSU started a big lineup with Coleman and Martin on the wings, O'Bryant and Mickey in the post and Hickey at point guard. Stringer and Morgan were the lone reserves to log more than nine minutes. . .Martin, who had just 20 points in the three previous games, tallied 15 against the Razorbacks. Martin made a season-high six field goals, including two 3-pointers. Martin chipped in with five rebounds and two assists. . .Hickey had a solid game with eight points, six assists and two steals. He had just one turnover in 31 minutes. Hickey was 2-of-5 from the field and 3-of-5 at the foul line. Hickey now has 303 assists in his career. He passed Mike Darnall to move into ninth place on LSU's all-time rankings. . .For the first time in four games, Coleman failed to score in double figures. He had just three points, but did grab seven rebounds. Coleman also handed out four assists. . .Morgan had seven points in just ten minutes of playing time. He was 3-of-4 from the field. . .Madden was the leading scorer for the Hogs with 17 points. Portis had 15 and Clarke added 10. Haydar scored 15 points off the bench. . .Michael Qualls and Alandise Harris were suspended by coach Mike Anderson for Saturday's game. Qualls was averaging 12 points a game, while Harris was scoring nine points per contest. . .The Tigers eclipsed the 80-point mark in back-to-back SEC games for the first time in five seasons. LSU scored at least 80 points in three straight league games in 2009 - South Carolina, Ole Miss and Mississippi State. . .The Tigers have scored at least 87 points in consecutive SEC games for the first time in 11 seasons. LSU beat Auburn 94-63 and Tennessee 88-67 in 2003. . .The Tigers have won four consecutive games against Arkansas and six in a row against the Hogs in the PMAC. LSU's lost home loss to Arkansas came in 2008. . .LSU is 14-6 overall, 5-3 in the SEC. Arkansas is 13-8 overall, 2-6 in the SEC. . .The Tigers are tied with Tennessee for fourth place in the conference standings. The Razorbacks are tied with Auburn for 12th place. . .The paid attendance was 10,925. The actual crowd was about 8,500 - a season-high.
FROM THE LOCKERROOM
Coach Johnny Jones
"One of the questions would be 'how would these guys bounce back after an emotional game Tuesday.' To their credit, they came out very focused and got off to a great start. Our guys established themselves early in the first half and came back out in the second half in the first four or five minutes and did more of the same in terms of making plays. They did a great job of sharing the basketball with each other. We shot a high percentage. We played well defensively and rebounded well. I thought if we won the war on the boards, we would have a chance. That was a big deal for us tonight."
"We were able to take away driving lanes by playing zone. At the same time, we got a hand up and forced them to shoot over the top of our length. It was tougher for them to set up their press when they're not making shots."
"Our guys are moving the ball around, getting it to the open guy. They are not shooting the ball quick. They are doing a great job in terms of scoring at a high-efficiency rate. When we make plays like that and have balanced scoring, we're a really good basketball team."
"It was important for us to come out of the gate quickly. The one thing we didn't want them to do was become a confident basketball team coming out of the locker room. Our zone helped us. They took shots out of the lane and didn't get to the paint area. That made it tough for them and allowed us to get off to a great start."
"I love playing with Jordan. I have never in my life played with a guy that can do the things he does. Just give it to him and he can dunk it. If you are defending and someone slips past you, he comes up and blocks it. Freshmen have to step right in and make a big commitment to the team. Our freshmen are doing a good job of that. We are a confident team. We know we can score in the offensive end. When teams make runs on us, we feel like we can execute on the offensive end to stop the run."
"We feel pretty good in the zone. We're getting comfortable with it. It's something we can utilize going further into the season. When we are playing against a team that can make a run, we know we have to slow them down to close out the game. We have to use some clock, get the ball inside and, most of all, make our free throws towards the end of the game. Arkansas didn't hit as many shots as they normally do. I contribute that to our defense some. We played great team defense."
LSU will play Georgia at Stegman Coliseum in Athens on Thursday at 6 p.m. The Bulldogs (10-10, 4-4) lost at Auburn 74-67 on Saturday afternoon. The LSU-Georgia game will be broadcast on ESPN2.