TAMPA, Fla. — It is supposed to be hard to beat a team three times in a season, and it wasn’t easy for the Arkansas Razorbacks, who played the first half against Louisiana State on Friday like they were back home in the winter weather.
The Razorbacks got big help off the bench, owned LSU in the second half and came away with a 79-67 win.
It was the Hogs' third win of the season over the Tigers, and now they will face Texas A&M for the third time.
The Aggies knocked off No. 1 seed Auburn 67-62, hitting 8 of 16 three pointers to advance to Saturday’s semifinals.
Arkansas has faced the Aggies twice this season. A&M edged by the Hogs 86-81 in College Station, and the Razorbacks escaped with a 76-73 win in Bud Walton.
The Aggies are currently riding a six-game win streak.
Razorback senior transfer guard Chris Lykes was the smallest player on the floor on Friday, but no one played bigger at the right times against the Tigers.
With less than a minute to play in the first half, Arkansas was trailing 26-23. But Lykes made two free throws, added two more on a technical foul on LSU’s Will Wade, and then made a steal and hit a jumper at the buzzer to put the Hogs up 29-26 at the break.
The Razorbacks opened a 60-46 lead to start the second half. The Tigers then outscored the Razorbacks 6-2 until Lykes went on a 9-0 run, and the Hogs coasted home.