Arkansas 87, LSU 70

Saturday, February 17th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) _ Out of the doghouse, Brandon Dean made his first start in three weeks and hit three 3-pointers in the opening minutes as Arkansas ran off 17 straight points and beat LSU 87-70 on Saturday.

For the first time, Arkansas (15-9, 6-6 SEC) started Dean, Dionisio Gomez, Carl Baker, Larry Satchell, and Teddy Gipson _ also on coach Nolan Richardon's list earlier in the week. When they left the court, their replacements played with the same enthusiasm in the first half.

With only six scholarship players, LSU (11-12, 1-11) could not cope with Arkansas' constant pressure. The Razorbacks swiped at every ball and challenged almost every shot. The Tigers had 17 turnovers in the first half, including two shot clock violations in the first 12 1/2 minutes, and trailed by 25 at the break. Arkansas scored 26 off those first-half turnovers.

LSU took advantage of some sloppy play by Arkansas and closed to within 12 with less than three minutes to play before T.J. Cleveland scored 9 of his 19 points. LSU's Brian Beshara scored 19 of his 23 in the second half.

Frustrated, LSU coach John Brady got two straight technicals from referee Larry Rose and was ejected with 35 seconds to play.

Jason Wilson's slam gave LSU its last lead, 6-5, before Arkansas' run made it 22-6 only eight minutes deep in the game.

Dean started the spurt with two 3s only 90 seconds apart. Dean wound up with 12 points in 16 minutes. The MVP in the SEC tournament last year, Dean had not scored in double figures since conference play began in early January.

After Dean's 3s, Gipson made a steal, a layup and two free throws. Cleveland stole the ball from Torris Bright and made two free throws. Cleveland hit the floor tying up the ball and the possession arrow favored Arkansas. Brandon Davis was good from the corner for 20-6 and his all-out sprint netted a steal that he saved with a behind-the-back pass. Arkansas gained control and Davis fed Joe Johnson for a layup that completed the spurt.

Blake Eddins' 3 from the corner _ his first basket since Jan. 17 _ made it 27-10. Charles Tatum's 3 and his two free throws upped the lead to 20 with 5:39 left in the first half. Dean's three-point play and Tatum's 3 made it 41-15 with 4:19 to play. Jannero Pargo scored 15 and Tatum 14.

Early in the week, Richardson had said he planned to play Dean and Gipson more against Auburn. But he changed his mind because of the way they practiced Wednesday morning and they were the last ones off the bench that night.

Johnson, preseason pick as the SEC Player of the year, and Pargo, Arkansas' most consistent scorer in conference play, were on the bench at the start against LSU. In the loss at Auburn, Johnson was 3-of-17 and Pargo was 4-of-14.