Arkansas No. 14 survives in final seconds against LSU
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Arkansas guard JD Notai made two free throws with 8.6 points remaining, with LSU’s Javier Pinson Rime missing a final attempt as time ticked away as the No. 14 Razorbacks closed in on the Tigers 77-76 Wednesday night.
Stanley Umude led Arkansas (24-6, 13-4 Southeast Conference) with 23 points. The Razorbacks have won 14 of their last 15 games and won nine in a row at home.
Notae, who entered as the SEC’s second-leading scorer, averaged 19.1 points per game, just 12 points, his lowest total since Dec. 1. But he had seven rebounds and five assists to go along with his game-winning free throw.
Arkansas coach Eric Muselman said, “JD, when he’s not scoring, he always brings the clutch.” “Two free throws are obviously a game-changer. A lot of guys can’t move forward with that confidence when you’re not having a good offensive night.
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LSU (20-10, 8-9) took the lead before Notae’s chance in the free throw line, but Pinson missed a 3-pointer and Eric Gaines missed a follow-up, giving the ball to Razorback. Mowani Wilkinson fouled Nota as he went to fly down the wing and made it two into the Arkansas leader line.
Pinson had 12 of 5 of 21 points. He put LSU ahead with 52 seconds left when he scored in the rematch. No team is more than seven points ahead overall.
Tari Eason led LSU with 24 points, but fouled out with 1:35 remaining.
Arkansas’ second-leading scorer, Jillian Williams, had 19 points and 10 rebounds and was fouled with 4:27 remaining.
The Razorbacks entered the game from No. 23 in LSU’s No. 16 net ranking, which prompted Musselman’s concern after the game.
“I look at this thing, like a team winning and losing. What is it?” Muslim said. “I’ll be really interested because their (LSU) net is really high. I’m not smart enough to understand. I mean, how do we play the last 15 games? I hope it’s taken seriously. Ready for Sunday’s election. I hope there’s some common sense.”
Arkansas: The SEC regular-season title kept its potential alive. One game behind conference-leading Razorbacks Auburn.
LSU: Drop below .500 in conference play, but in good position for the NCAA Tournament.
The next is coming
Arkansas: Saturday in Tennessee.
LSU: Saturday host Alabama.