2012 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament
Game 1: #8 LSU 70, #9 Arkansas 54
Final Stats Book
New Orleans, La. -- Johnny O'Bryant scored 12 of his 18 points in the second half and grabbed 11 rebounds, helping LSU pull away for a 70-54 victory over Arkansas in the opening game of the Southeastern Conference tournament on Thursday.
Storm Warren scored 14 for LSU (18-13), which had ended its regular season with a three-game skid but rediscovered its offense in time to open the postseason with a convincing victory. Andre Stringer hit three of four 3-pointers and finished with 11 points for the Tigers, who shot 50 percent (25 of 50), tying their second-highest percentage all season. LSU went 6 of 12 from 3-point range.
B.J. Young scored 13 points for Arkansas (18-14), which has lost six of seven and finished with its lowest point total of the season.
Young was the only player to score in double figures for the Hogs. Mardracus Wade and Julysses Nobles each had nine points.
Ralston Turner and Justin Hamilton each scored 10 for LSU, which had five players in double figures.
After the teams played to a 28-all tie through the first half, LSU opened the second half with a 10-2 surge that began with Stringer's 3 and Hamilton's jumper. Anthony Hickey's layup capped the spurt and made it 38-30, and LSU led 42-33 when Hamilton dunked a few possessions later.
The Tigers made it tough for Arkansas to get inside and the Hogs were unable to make them pay from the perimeter, missing five jumpers in a row while LSU used a 9-0 run to boost its lead to 53-39.
Young finally snapped the Hogs' drought with a driving reverse layup, and Michael Sanchez scored inside soon after while being fouled, but that only cut Arkansas' deficit to 11. O'Bryant helped LSU keep the pressure on with a feisty offensive rebound that he converted into a putback to make it 57-44 with 6:24 left.
Arkansas never challenged after that as LSU's lead grew as large as 17, and the Razorbacks finished shooting 35.8 percent (19 of 53), only marginally better than their season-worst 31.2 percent in a blowout loss at Connecticut.
Game 1 Notes – LSU 70, Arkansas 54
LSU advances to quarterfinals Friday at noon CST vs. Kentucky
All-Time Series: Arkansas leads 31-24 but LSU has won the last two meetings
Season Series: each team won at home, Arkansas 69-60 and LSU 71-65
In the SEC Tournament: tied 2-2
• Tied at halftime (28-28), LSU opened the second half with a 10-2 run for a 38-30 lead and never trailed again.
• Arkansas closed within 44-39, but LSU responded with a 9-0 spurt for a 53-39 lead. The Tigers led by double digits the rest of the way.
• LSU is now 18-13, ending a three-game losing streak and posting their first win since Feb. 22.
• LSU’s win broke a two-year losing streak in the SEC Tournament as the Tigers posted their first victory in the league tourney since 2009.
• LSU 15-1 this season when holding the opponent under 60 points.
• LSU had balanced scoring with five players in double figures.
o It was the first time since the season opener that LSU landed five players in double figures. Six Tigers hit double digits in the season-opening win over Nicholls.
• Johnny O’Bryant had game highs with 18 points and 11 rebounds, his second double-double of the season.
o 18 points is his most against an SEC opponent
o 11 boards tied his career high, achieved three times this season
• Storm Warren had seven rebounds today, giving him 602 in his career and moving him into the LSU career top-25 rebounding list
• Arkansas is 18-14 and has lost the last three in a row.
• Arkansas has lost four consecutive years in the opening round of the SEC Tournament.
• SEC All-Freshman selection B.J. Young led the Razorbacks with 13 points, the third-consecutive game he has led the team in scoring.