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BATON ROUGE – Just three days after LSU basketball coach Will Wade described his team’s “rock-solid” foundation, the Tigers sprung a major leak and fell to unranked Arkansas, 65-58, at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center Saturday afternoon.
The Tigers (16-2, 3-2 SEC) saw their three-game winning streak snapped as they committed five turnovers over the final eight minutes to allow the Razorbacks (12-5, 2-3) to take the lead and win going away.
“We’ve got good stuff to us, man,” Wade said after the Tigers won at Florida Wednesday. “We got good DNA. We’re built on a rock-solid foundation. This is not some fluke or flimsy stuff, or one bad thing is going to blow our house down.”
And he seemed accurate when LSU took a 56-48 lead with 9:01 to play Saturday, but Arkansas proceeded to outscore the Tigers, 17-2, the rest of the way for the win.
JD Notae led Arkansas with 19 points, including a 3-pointer with 3:24 to play for a 58-56 lead. Jaylin Williams added 11 points and 13 rebounds.
“This one hurts,” Wade said. “You’ve got to be able to close that one out. We didn’t get it done. We turned the ball over too much down the stretch.”
After a Williams’ 3-pointer put Arkansas up 61-58 with just over a minute to play, LSU guard Brandon Murray was called for a charge. The play was reviewed, but stood and Arkansas took over with 59.2 to go. LSU guard Tari Eason stole the ball back with about 45 seconds left, but his errant pass led to another LSU turnover. Then a putback by Arkansas’ Stanley Umude off a missed free throw gave the Razorbacks a commanding 63-58 lead.
Eric Gaines led LSU with 14 points. The Tigers suffered 16 turnovers in all and shot just 64 percent from the free throw line with six misses out of 17. Arkansas hit 14 of 18 from the line for 77 percent.
“And we got blasted on the glass,” said Wade, whose team was outrebounded by 41-31. “I probably should’ve used a couple timeouts. That’s on me.”
Darius Days, who led the Tigers with 20 points in the win over Florida, was 1 of 8 from the field against Arkansas for three points and just four rebounds.
Arkansas was led by interim coach and Baton Rouge native Keith Smart, who replaced head coach Eric Musselman.
Musselman missed the game after having shoulder surgery this week following a collision with a player at a recent practice.
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