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Feb 2, 2024 12:55 pm

Rested LSU looks to end skid in encounter vs. Arkansas

LSU hopes to be rejuvenated in its return to the court.

Arkansas already feels rejuvenated after getting a road victory.

The Tigers and the Razorbacks will meet Saturday afternoon in Baton Rouge, La.

LSU (11-9, 3-4 Southeastern Conference) lost in the final seconds against both Texas A&M and Georgia before surrendering the most points in coach Matt McMahon’s two seasons in a 109-88 setback at Alabama on Jan. 27.

But McMahon and the Tigers have had a full week to try to get back on track after losing four of the last five games.

“Before we went to Alabama, you really were three possessions away from being 5-1 (in the conference), so there’s disappointment there,” McMahon said. “Then, we faced an Alabama team that played incredibly well.”

McMahon said LSU is focused on reducing unforced turnovers and improving its one-on-one defense, “but always, the first thing to me is mindset.”

“Arkansas as a team, we all know their talent,” he said. “I’m sure they’ll be ready and hungry for a win, but we’ve got to focus on LSU.”

The Razorbacks (11-10, 2-6) are coming off a 91-84 road victory Wednesday against Missouri, one of two teams that are winless in SEC play. Their first road win in conference play ended a three-game losing streak.

Coach Eric Musselman said he was pleased that the team continued the competitive effort it showed against then-No. 6 Kentucky four days earlier, even though Arkansas dropped a 63-57 decision.

Center Makhi Mitchell collected 12 points and 13 rebounds versus the Wildcats. He finished with 19 points and 14 rebounds against the Tigers.

He said the way the team competed against Kentucky “definitely gave us a boost.”

“We definitely figured out a lot that game (against Kentucky),” Mitchell said. “We can play hard. We can play at the level that anybody in the country plays at. If we continue to play for 40 minutes, we can win a game.”

Before the Kentucky game, Arkansas had five double-digit losses in its first six SEC games.

–Field Level Media

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