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Trae Hannibal leads LSU past No. 9 Arkansas in SEC opener

Dec 13, 2022; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers head coach Matt McMahon calls in a play against the North Carolina Central Eagles during the first half at Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Trae Hannibal scored a season-best 19 points to lead LSU to a 60-57 victory over No. 9 Arkansas on Wednesday night in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams at Baton Rouge, La.

Derek Fountain recorded 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Tigers (12-1, 1-0 SEC), who notched their seventh consecutive victory.

Davonte Davis scored 16 points for the Razorbacks (11-2, 0-1), who had a seven-game winning streak of their own halted. Jordan Walsh had 13 points and nine rebounds and Ricky Council IV also scored 13 points with six rebounds.

LSU was able to hold on in a frantic finish.

A basket by Hannibal gave LSU a 56-53 with 1:12 remaining but Davis drained a jumper to bring Arkansas within one with 56.7 seconds left.

Hannibal scored on a layup with 32.9 seconds to go but Anthony Black scored on a put-back with 21.1 seconds remaining as the Razorbacks again pulled within one.

Makhi Mitchell blocked Fountain’s shot with 8.5 seconds left and Arkansas had a chance to take the lead. But Council turned the ball over before LSU’s Adam Miller was fouled, and Miller made two free throws to give the Tigers a three-point lead with 1.8 seconds to go.

Walsh’s midcourt shot caromed off the rim as time expired.

LSU made 40.3 percent of its attempts and was 4 of 17 from behind the arc.

Arkansas shot 36.9 percent from the field, but shot just 16 percent (4 of 25) from 3-point range.

Davis made Arkansas’ first 3-pointer of the game (on attempt No. 14) to tie the score at 24 with 18:30 remaining.

Walsh and Council each made 3-pointers during an 8-2 push as the Razorbacks took a 40-34 lead with 10:21 left.

LSU responded with a 10-2 burst — capped by back-to-back baskets by Derek Fountain — to take a 44-42 lead with 7:06 left.

Arkansas moved back ahead at 51-49 on two free throws by Mitchell with 3:46 left in the game. Hannibal’s layup tied the score with 2:53 remaining.

A three-point play by Fountain gave LSU a 54-52 lead with 2:28 left

LSU led 24-19 at the break despite making just 10 of 34 shots (29.4 percent).

But Arkansas was worse at 27.3 percent (9 of 33) and missed all 13 3-point attempts before intermission.

–Field Level Media