Arkansas falls to LSU in OT de­spite 32 from Gaf­ford

The Sentinel-Record - - SPORTS - CHIP SOUZA

FAYET­TEVILLE — Naz Reid ad­mit­ted Satur­day’s game was one he had cir­cled on the cal­en­dar. And for a cou­ple of rea­sons.

Reid, the 6-foot-10 LSU fresh­man from New Jer­sey, scored just seven points and fouled out of the Tigers’ 88-79 win against Alabama

(10-5, 1-2 South­east­ern Con­fer­ence) on Tues­day, one of the few times this sea­son he’s been held un­der dou­ble fig­ures. That was prob­a­bly mo­ti­va­tion enough for the pro­jected NBA lot­tery pick. The real mo­ti­va­tion was fac­ing Arkansas’ stel­lar

6-11 sopho­more and also pro­jected first-round NBA Draft pick Daniel Gaf­ford.

Both play­ers de­liv­ered as Reid scored 27 points, in­clud­ing four

3-point­ers, and Gaf­ford poured in a ca­reer-high 32 points. Reid’s Tigers

(12-3, 2-0) walked out of Bud Wal­ton Arena with a 94-88 over­time win, hold­ing off an Arkansas team that trailed by dou­ble dig­its a good por­tion of the sec­ond half.

“I was very hyped for this game,” Reid said. “I mean, he’s a lot­tery pick, so us go­ing at it is a great matchup.

“I wanted to come out with a bet­ter game to­day and I just wanted to win. I’m a sore loser, I never want to lose at any­thing, so I was go­ing to put it all on the floor to­day.”

Reid was ready from the open­ing tip. On LSU’s first pos­ses­sion, he caught a pass on the right block and threw down a mon­ster dunk. Per­haps the emo­tion of the dunk and the in­ten­sity of the matchup was a lit­tle much as he was quickly hit with a tech­ni­cal foul. Arkansas’ Ma­son Jones hit a pair of free throws at the other end to tie the game, but LSU slowly took con­trol, lead­ing by dou­ble dig­its for a good por­tion of the sec­ond half.

Gaf­ford, who took just four shots and scored nine points in Wed­nes­day’s 57-51 loss to Flor­ida (9-6, 1-2), was more in­volved in the Arkansas of­fense on Satur­day. He scored 16 points in the first half and fin­ished

14 of 19 from the floor.

In a 14-2 sec­ond-half run that saw Arkansas (10-5, 1-2) turn a 7361 deficit into a 75-all tie, Gaf­ford scored seven points and sent the game into over­time with a dunk with 30 sec­onds left in reg­u­la­tion. His layup in over­time gave Arkansas its first and only lead at 83-81.

“Play­ing against some­one like him, that gave me a lot of mo­ti­va­tion,” Gaf­ford said. “He’s a great player, prob­a­bly a one-and-done player, so I had to come out and play up on his level be­cause he was play­ing at a whole dif­fer­ent level tonight.

“So, I had to go to that same level. Lately I’ve been get­ting dom­i­nated by bigs com­ing in here, so

I just did not want to let that hap­pen tonight.”

After Gaf­ford pow­ered in­side for the lead in over­time, the Tigers an­wered with backto-back 3-point­ers, the last one from Reid who was again left open on the perime­ter.

“The 3-point­ers that he hit, those were some big threes,” Gaf­ford said. “He came down, he took his time. I mean we left him wide open.

“That’s just our fault right there. We have to ro­tate. But he came down, he took his time and he knocked them down and that’s what hurt us.”

LSU’s bal­anced at­tack proved to be the dif­fer­ence. Mar­lon Tay­lor scored 21 for the Tigers and Tre­mont Wa­ters added 17 points and 11 as­sists.

Jones scored 22 points for Arkansas, in­clud­ing a pair of

3-point­ers and Reg­gie Chaney played big off the bench with

12 points, five re­bounds and four steals.

The Tigers handed Arkansas its first Satur­day home loss in eight sea­sons and won their fifth straight game and sev­enth in their last eight. LSU coach Will Wade said he pre­pared his team for the Arkansas crowd by blast­ing hog calls and loud mu­sic dur­ing prac­tices lead­ing up to the game.

“I didn’t in­tend on giv­ing Gaf­ford as many easy looks as we did,” Wade said. “He’s a great player. I knew they were go­ing to go to Gaf­ford, we just did not do a good job stop­ping him.”

The Ra­zor­backs played much bet­ter than they did in a loss to Flor­ida ear­lier this week, but with a Tues­day game on the road at No. 3 Ten­nessee (14-1, 3-0), the sched­ule only gets tougher.

Arkansas’ leg­endary guard Syd­ney Mon­crief was hon­ored be­fore the game. Mon­crief was a star player for the Ra­zor­backs in the late 1970s and led the team to the Fi­nal Four in 1978.

NWA Demo­crat-Gazette/Andy Shupe

LOT­TERY NUM­BERS: Arkansas sopho­more cen­ter Daniel Gaf­ford walks to the team’s bench in the clos­ing mo­ments of reg­u­la­tion Satur­day dur­ing the sec­ond half of the Ra­zor­backs’ 94-88 over­time de­feat to LSU in Bud Wal­ton Arena in Fayet­teville. Gaf­ford scored a ca­reer-high 32 points after be­ing held to nine points in a 57-51 loss to Flor­ida on Wed­nes­day. Fel­low NBA prospect Naz Reid scored 27 points for the Tigers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.