LSU rips Arkansas thanks to big first half

Trendon Watford had 23 points and 10 rebounds as all five LSU starters scored in double figures and the Tigers routed visiting Arkansas 92-76 in an SEC game Wednesday night in Baton Rouge, La.

Darius Days added 18 points and 13 rebounds, and Cameron Thomas, the Tigers leading scorer, returned from an ankle injury to add 17 points. Javonte Smart scored 13 and Mwani Wilkinson had 11 for LSU (9-2, 4-1), which seized control by scoring 18 consecutive points early in the first half.

JD Notae scored 22 points, Moses Moody added 18 and Desi Sills had 14 to lead the Razorbacks, (10-3, 2-3).

The LSU starters outscored the Arkansas starters 82-33.

Arkansas scored the first two points of the second half to get within 18 points, but LSU prevented any kind of run.

Smart made two free throws, Days hit a layup and Thomas added two free throws for a 57-33 lead.

The Razorbacks tried to make another push when Sills’ 3-pointer cut the deficit to 63-42, but Thomas, Watford and Eric Gaines answered with baskets.

Davonte Davis scored four straight points as Arkansas inched within 84-68 with 4:39 left, but the Razorbacks couldn’t make a serious run.

Arkansas scored the first four points of the game and held a 7-4 lead before everything changed.

Watford and Wilkinson scored four points each during an 18-0 run that gave LSU a 22-7 lead.

Sills’ layup ended the run, but Aundre Hyatt and Watford each made a 3-pointer during an 8-0 Tigers run in response.

Jaylin Williams made two free throws for the Razorbacks before Thomas scored seven points as LSU took its biggest lead of the half at 44-13. Combined, the Tigers outscored Arkansas 40-6 over a 12-minute stretch.

Arkansas chipped away and got within 18 points on two occasions before Thomas made two free throws to leave the Tigers with a 51-31 halftime lead.