Mikaylah Williams scores 21 and Hailey Van Lith adds 20 as No. 10 LSU beats Arkansas 99-68

(Arkansas Athletics)

Mikaylah Williams scored 21 points and Hailey Van Lith added 20 as No. 10 LSU hammered Arkansas 99-68 on Sunday.

Angel Reese contributed 16 points and 17 rebounds, Aneesah Morrow had 14 and Flau’jae Johnson had 13 as all five starters scored in double digits for the Tigers (18-2, 5-1 Southeastern Conference).

Samara Spencer scored a team-high 20 points for the Razorbacks (14-6, 2-3), who made just 12 of the 47 3-point attempts.

It was LSU’s second straight win after it had a 16-game win streak snapped in an 87-62 loss at unranked Auburn on Jan. 14.

“After the Auburn game, we said that we were never going to get outplayed again,” said Williams, a freshman who got LSU out of the gates quickly against Arkansas with 10 first-quarter points. “Since then, we haven’t been outplayed. We’ve done a great job of being focused.”

LSU’s 31-point win over the Razorbacks was reflected by winning almost every stat category, including a 60-33 domination in rebounding.

The Tigers, buoyed by the largest home crowd of the year (12,873), jumped to an 18-0 lead in the game’s first 5 ½ minutes, despite missing 10 of its first 17 shots including five layups.

Arkansas closed the first quarter hitting six of its last eight shots, including four 3-pointers, to cut LSU’s lead to 25-16 heading to the second period. When the Tigers drilled its first seven of eight shots in the second quarter and took a 55-28 lead into the break, LSU coach Kim Mulkey knew her team was in a rhythm.

“It was a game that we pretty much were special on both ends of the floor,” Mulkey said. “We were just playing very confident, very free, pushing the ball up the floor. We were doing a lot of active things. The crowd got into it. It was just one of those games that was entertainment.”

The Razorbacks didn’t go down without a fight. Four of their five third-quarter baskets were 3-pointers, including a pair by Spencer. She scored 10 points to help Arkansas whittle LSU’s 27-point halftime lead twice to 22 points, the second time on her 3-pointer with 3:01 left.

A couple of Williams’ stop-and-pop jumpers restarted LSU’s engines. The Tigers closed the period with a 10-2 burst that sent LSU to the fourth quarter with an 80-50 lead.

The Tigers emptied their bench in the final period.

Arkansas coach Mike Neighbors praised every element of LSU’s program.

“They’re well-coached, you can’t take them out of what they want to do,” Neighbors said. “They haven’t even played to their potential yet. And their home crowd is worth 10 to 12 points.”