USA TODAY Sports
Razorbacks avoided the blowout and nearly came all the way back, but it wasn't quite enough to pick up the win in Baton Rouge.
A lot of people will blame B.J. Young for this loss due to some really awful plays in the last two minutes, the the Razorbacks lost the game in the first half when they dug themselves a 22-point deficit in the first half.
Young's performance wasn't quite as awful as his game against Florida. Young did score 4 points on a couple of layups against LSU, but this is how Arkansas' side of the play-by-play sheet reads after the Hogs had the ball down three with over a minute left to play: "BJ Young missed three, Foul on BJ Young, BJ Young turnover, Foul on BJ Young". And by that point the game was effectively over.
Mike Anderson probably should have called time out on that first possession when Arkansas was down three as the Hogs looked pretty lost. That being said, give the Hogs credit from nearly coming all the way back from the truly awful first half. It was so bad that Anderson took his jacket off before halftime, which is a rarity. The Razorbacks scored 32 points in the first half, which really is pretty solid, but allowing 45 points is awful. For a team that claims to pride itself on defense, that just can't happen.
LSU was simply on fire at the beginning of the game, similar to Arkansas' first half against Florida in Fayetteville. The Tigers scored 45 points in the first 18 minutes. The Razorbacks had no answer for Charles Carmouche. He hit three shots from beyond the arc and finished 9 for 11 from the field overall.
Meanwhile, Arkansas started the game pretty cold. Marshawn Powell was ice cold. He was missing jumpers. He was missing free throws. Mardracus Wade and Kikko Haydar kept the Hogs afloat early on with 18 first half points. Powell was more of his usual self in the second half, and certainly, finishing with 17 points and 8 rebounds is a more than respectable final line.
Many of the usual mistakes continue to plague the Razorbacks. They take way too many threes for a team with such a low percentage. They were 6-for-25 tonight, while LSU was 7-for-18. The team missed more than half of their free throws in the first half.
Curiously, Anthlon Bell was only on the court for three minutes and attempted (and missed) one three point attempt. For a guy who has scored 31 points over the previous two games, why he didn't play any more than he did is certainly a question that needs asking.
But the bigger concern in Young. He's averaging over 15 points a game this season but over the last three games has scored a total of 15. And his six turnovers against LSU make it look like he's trying to force too much, and was visibly frustrated at the end of the game. Anderson must figure out a way to get Young back in the right frame of mind if the team wants any sort of successful end to the season.