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Matt McMahon praises LSU men’s basketball’s ‘team effort’ in big win over Arkansas

LSU entered Saturday’s home matchup against a floundering Arkansas team desperate for a win, and it got one.

The Tigers ended a three-game skid with a decisive, 95-74 win in a game that it controlled throughout. Now, the Tigers sit at 4-4 in SEC play and have already doubled their league win total from a season ago.

After the game, coach Matt McMahon praised what he called a “terrific” team effort.

“Thrilled with our players’ performance today,” McMahon said, per On3’s Matthew Brune. “I thought they were just terrific; a true team effort for 40 minutes. I thought on the defensive end, we were really locked in to the game plan and the things we needed to do. Then offensively, I thought it was just a really unselfish, disciplined performance. It’s a lot of fun to watch us play that way. Most of all, I’m really proud of our players for their response this week. The bye week didn’t go exactly as we had planned; we had some injury and illness early in the week that kind of changed up our schedule. But, I thought our guys really competed throughout the week and found ways to get better, and then came out with an 11 a.m. start today with a tough, together performance to get us a big win here at home.”

LSU’s ball movement was on display in the win. It had 17 assists to Arkansas’ 10 with Jordan Wright leading the team with six. That helped LSU score its most points in SEC play so far this season.

“That’s the key,” McMahon said of the team’s fluidity on offense. “Since December, we’ve been playing a lot faster and our spacing is a lot better, so when we move the ball and execute, we have really good players and when they play well, it allows us to score 95 points. Our efficiency was really good because of the unselfish play. A big concern was Arkansas being top five in the country in getting to the free throw line and they got there 33 times today, but we got there 28 times and made 25 of them because of the spacing and the strong drives and good decision making.”

It’s a nice win for the Tigers, who likely kept whatever outside hopes of an NCAA tournament bid remain alive on Saturday. But the real test will come on Wednesday night when they hit the road to take on a Tennessee team that’s one of the best in the conference.

“You hope it leads to more confidence,” McMahon said. “When you see the hard work and the trust they played with, you see that it works. Our guys should have confidence and we’ll keep getting better as we prepare for the next opportunity.”

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Story originally appeared on LSU Tigers Wire