LSU basketball score prediction at Arkansas: Scouting report on Tigers' rematch with Razorbacks
Nothing has come easily for LSU basketball in the new year.
The Tigers (12-7, 1-6 SEC) have lost six straight games, all against conference foes in 2023. Their most recent defeat came on Saturday in a humbling 77-56 loss to No. 4 Tennessee.
Coincidentally, the last team LSU beat – Arkansas on Dec. 28 – will face the Tigers again at Bud Walton Arena on Tuesday (6 p.m., ESPN2). The Razorbacks (13-6, 2-5 SEC) have struggled in conference play, at one point losing four straight contests.
Here's a preview of the rematch in Fayetteville and our score prediction for the game.
Keep Arkansas out of the paint
Two-point offense and getting to the free throw line is the bread and butter of Arkansas' attack. Few teams in college basketball have been as aggressive in getting to the basket this season.
The Razorbacks are 25th in the country in free throw attempts and makes. And it's not just free throws, Arkansas is also 28th in the nation in two-point shot attempts and 14th in shots made from inside the arc.
Even without star freshman Nick Smith Jr., Arkansas has plenty of young athletes who are willing to be physical, hence the number of free throws they take.
To counter their aggressiveness, LSU will need to force Arkansas to take 3-point shots. The Razorbacks have only made 28.3% of their shots from beyond the arc during conference play.
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LSU must continue to build on improved 2-point offense
LSU took a small step forward with its offense against Tennessee's No. 1 defense on Saturday, outshooting the Volunteers 48% to 45% by game's end. The Tigers shot 59.1% from the field in the second half and did a better job at getting to the basket as the game went along.
LSU's offense is still far from perfect. The Tigers turned over the ball 19 times and shot just 25% from 3-point range. But considering the opponent, it was a definite step in the right direction.
If the Tigers want to pull off another upset over Arkansas, they'll have to build off of their work from the Tennessee game. The Razorbacks' defense has consistently shut off the 3-point line for opponents this season, meaning that LSU will need to get its baskets from around the rim on Tuesday.
Score prediction: Arkansas 65, LSU 55
LSU struggles enough on offense to fall in a tightly contested matchup. Arkansas struggles from the field, but uses its length and athleticism to eventually overwhelm the Tigers.
Koki Riley covers LSU sports for The Daily Advertiser and the USA TODAY Sports South Region. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @KokiRiley.