LSU 70, Arkansas 54

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.