LSU Women's Basketball falls to Arkansas 48-44, drop 4th straight
BATON ROUGE, La. --- Down nine points going into the fourth quarter with a depleted roster of just seven scholarship players dressed out because of injuries, the LSU women’s basketball team rallied but came up short as the Arkansas Razorbacks defeated the Lady Tigers, 48-44, at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center Thursday evening.
The Lady Tigers were without one of their leading scorers and outside shooting threats, Jenna Deemer, who missed her third straight game with an illness. Also out was Ann Jones who suffered an ankle injury at practice Wednesday. This is the first game this season that Jones has missed. The injury to Jones forced the seventh lineup change for the Lady Tigers this season.
Trailing by nine points to begin the fourth quarter, the Lady Tigers scored five straight points to cut the Razorbacks’ lead to 43-42. Akilah Bethel scored two of the five points off free throws and Jasmine Rhodes converted the layup-and-one play for the other three points. As LSU fans screamed “defense” with the Lady Tigers trailing by one, Devin Cosper silenced fans momentarily in the PMAC, hitting a clutch three-pointer to put the Razorbacks back up by four. The Lady Tigers did not give up as Alexis Hyder hit a pair of free throws, cutting the deficit to 46-44.
Following a free throw from Cosper, Melissa Wolff fouled Hyder and sent her to the free-throw line. Hyder, who had previously converted on two free throws, missed a pair of charity shots with 18 seconds left in the game, forcing the Lady Tigers to foul to save time. Cosper added an additional free throw in the remaining seconds to seal the victory for the Razorbacks.
With the loss, LSU (7-12, 1-5 SEC) dropped its fourth-consecutive game this season and fourth-straight loss at home to the Razorbacks. Arkansas (9-10, 4-2 SEC) has won their last three meetings, including a pair of victories last week over nationally-ranked Tennessee and Missouri.
Hyder led the Lady Tigers in scoring with 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, recording her sixth career double-double. It was the second time this season that she has registered back-to-back double-doubles. Hyder’s 15-point performance also marked the fifth straight game she has scored in double figures. Akilah Bethel recorded the second double-double of her career with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Bethel also snagged a career-high five steals and has tallied 16 steals in the last five contests. Bethel and Hyder combined for four of LSU’s five blocks in the game.
For the game, the Lady Tigers shot 34 percent off 17-of-50 shooting from the floor and 53 percent from the free-throw line (10-of-19). LSU outrebounded Arkansas, 40-34, and committed 16 turnovers that led to 15 points for the Razorbacks. The Lady Tigers also outscored the Razorbacks in points in the paint, 22-20, and points off turnovers, 19-15.
Jessica Jackson, who entered the game averaging 17 points per game, finished with 15 to lead the Razorbacks in scoring. Cosper finished with 12 points behind Jackson.
The Razorbacks shot 35 percent (19-of-54) from the floor, and 33 percent (6-of-18) from three-point range. They were 4-of-11 from the charity stripe. LSU held the Razorbacks to just 3-of-11 from the field in the first quarter, but Arkansas answered in the second period, hitting 7-of-14 from the field, including a 3-of-4 mark on three-pointers.
The Razorbacks scored first in the game with a field goal from Alecia Cooley. The Lady Tigers responded with a 6-0 run before Cooley scored again. Following a media timeout with 4:31 to play, LSU used an 8-3 run to take a 14-7 lead at the end of the first quarter. Five Lady Tigers scored during the first quarter.
The Razorbacks chipped away at the lead with a 5-0 run to start the second quarter. Jackson scored 11 of the Razorbacks’ 17 points, including three treys. The Razorbacks hit three treys and took their first lead since the start of the game when Cosper hit a jumper with 4:34 remaining in the period for the 22-20 Arkansas advantage. Melissa Wolff hit a jumper to give the Razorbacks the four-point lead before Hyder hit a jumper at the 3:08 mark. Jasmine Rhodes sent the Lady Tigers to the locker room tied up 24-24 after grabbing a steal from Kelsey Brooks and driving for the layup.
At the half, the Lady Tigers shot 46 percent off 12-of-26 shooting from the field. LSU outrebounded Arkansas, 18-13. The Lady Tigers, however, committed eight turnovers that led to 10 points for the Razorbacks in the first half. Hyder led the Lady Tigers in scoring with eight points. Arkansas shot 40 percent from the floor and 57 percent from three-point range, something that helped the Razorbacks close the gap in the second quarter. Jackson led the Razorbacks in scoring with 11 points at the half.
Both teams struggled to score for the first three minutes in the third quarter. Cosper broke the trend, recording a layup to give the Razorbacks a 26-24 advantage. Bethel responded with a layup to tie the game again. The Razorbacks followed up behind Bethel’s basket with back-to-back field goals to take a 31-26 lead. With 4:36 to play, Hyder added two free throws to give the Lady Tigers a total of four points scored in the third quarter. The Lady Tigers went 1-for-14 from the floor in the third quarter. The Razorbacks scored six more points to take a 37-28 lead going into the fourth quarter. LSU managed to outscore Arkansas, 16-11, in the fourth quarter, but the 13-4 deficit of the third period proved to be too much to overcome.
The Lady Tigers close out the month on the road against Georgia on Sunday and Missouri on Jan. 28. LSU’s next home is game is Monday, Feb. 1 at 6 p.m.