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Arkansas drops LSU in front of Clinton

Posted: February 15, 2014 - 7:52pm
Eddie Sutton, left, former President Bill Clinton, center, and Nolan Richardson, right, call the "Hogs" during halftime of an NCAA college basketball game between Arkansas and LSU on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Gareth Patterson)  AP
AP
Eddie Sutton, left, former President Bill Clinton, center, and Nolan Richardson, right, call the "Hogs" during halftime of an NCAA college basketball game between Arkansas and LSU on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Gareth Patterson)

FAYETTEVILLE — Ky Madden scored 21 points as Arkansas rallied in the second half for an 81-70 win over LSU in front of former President Bill Clinton on Saturday.

Coty Clarke added 16 points for the Razorbacks (16-9, 5-7 Southeastern Conference), who honored the school’s six Final Four teams at halftime. Clinton, an Arkansas native and alumnus, also received a framed No. 42 jersey in honor of his time as the 42nd President.

Clarke scored all of his points in the second half for the Razorbacks, while Bobby Portis finished with 15 points and Michael Qualls 13.

Johnny O’Bryant led the Tigers (15-9, 6-6) with 20 points and 16 rebounds before fouling out with 1:55 remaining. LSU, which also had 13 points from Andrew Stringer, has now lost five straight road games.

After trailing by as many as 10 in the first half, LSU rallied in the second. Stringer’s third 3-pointer of the game put the Tigers up 55-54, their first lead since the opening minutes of the game, and they stretched the lead to 57-54 after an alley-oop dunk by O’Bryant.

However, Alandise Harris answered on the other end for Arkansas with a thundering one-hand driving dunk over O’Bryant — doing so right in front of Clinton and sending the Bud Walton Arena crowd of 18,904 into a frenzy.

The dunk sparked a 12-2 run by the Razorbacks, who went on to outscore LSU 27-10 before a late LSU 3-pointer — keeping their faint NCAA tournament hopes alive with the much-needed win.

Led by Qualls’ hot start, Arkansas led by as many as 10 points in the first half — taking a 21-11 lead after a 3-pointer by Kikko Haydar. The Razorbacks were 5 of 7 on 3-pointers at that point, including three from Qualls.

The sophomore had 11 of Arkansas’ first 18 points, including a basket following one of LSU’s 11 turnovers in the half.

Despite the early deficit, the Tigers closed to within 37-33 at halftime after a pair of free throws by Jordan Mickey.

LSU stayed close in the first half thanks to a 27-19 rebounding advantage, including grabbing 10 of the last 12 rebounds of the half. O’Bryant had 10 points and nine rebounds at the half and scored on a pair of putbacks following two of his six offensive rebounds.

Arkansas was 10-of-17 shooting on 3-pointers, including three each from Clarke and Qualls. Clarke was limited to 3 minutes with foul trouble in the first half, but he finished 5 of 7 from the field and added nine rebounds.

Clinton was one of several former Arkansas greats on hand for the halftime ceremony, which included former Razorbacks coaches Nolan Richardson and Eddie Sutton as well as former players Corliss Williamson, Scotty Thurman and Sidney Moncrief, among others.

Arkansas has reached six Final Fours in school history, including back-to-back appearances in 1994-95. Williamson led the school to the 1994 national championship.

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