Men's Basketball Battles Past Alabama, 71-60
BATON ROUGE – Jordan Mickey pumped in 24 points and added 12 rebounds as the LSU men’s basketball team ended a two-game losing streak and led wire-to-wire during a 71-60 victory over Alabama on Saturday evening at the Maravich Center.
With the victory, LSU (17-6, 6-4 SEC) moved into a fourth place tie with Georgia in the SEC standings. The Tigers have won three of the last four meetings over Alabama (14-9, 4-6 SEC) since their triple overtime victory on Feb. 23, 2013.
For Mickey, it was his 14th double-double on the season and his ninth straight effort in double figures. He also became the first LSU player to eclipse 20 points in three consecutive games since Charles Carmouche during the 2012-13 season.
Mickey became the 39th player in program history to surpass 500 career rebounds. He moved past Jabari Smith (1998-2000), Garrett Temple (2005-09) and John Williams (1984-86) into 36th place on LSU’s all-time list.
Jarell Martin and Tim Quarterman registered 25 of their 31 points during the second half. Martin finished with 16 points, four rebounds and three assists. Quarterman picked up 15 points, eight rebounds and three assists.
Keith Hornsby added 10 points aided by a pair of three-pointers. He has racked up double figures in sixth consecutive games. Making his first career start, Jalyn Patterson turned in six points coupled with a career-high seven rebounds and career-high tying four assists.
Alabama was led by Levi Randolph who tallied 17 points before he fouled out during the final two minutes. Shannon Hale tallied 13 points and five rebounds, while Riley Norris registered 12 points and 12 rebounds off the Crimson Tide bench.
With LSU ahead 12-8 at the 14:39 mark of the first half, LSU pieced together 17 of the next 22 points over the next 7:38 off the clock.
Quarterman started the flurry with a layup, and Hornsby fired in a three-pointer from the left wing followed by a midrange jumper to push the LSU lead into double figures at 19-9.
The Tigers continued their charge as Mickey pulled up for a 10-foot runner, and Hornsby dialed up another trey to make it 24-11 with 8:06 remaining. Mickey drained a midrange jumper and capped the run with a traditional three-point play on a putback. The rebound was Mickey’s 500th of his career, and LSU took a 29-13 lead with 6:40 left.
Alabama scored six of the last seven points to cut the LSU advantage to 30-20 heading into the locker room. The Tigers were 11-of-21 from the floor and had seven assists during the opening half. On the defensive end, LSU forced the Crimson Tide into a 7-for-29 shooting clip.
The Tigers matched their largest lead at 47-31 with 14:30 to go in the second half as Quarterman connected on a three-ball from the left wing.
Alabama charged back with a 16-2 spurt behind Randolph and Hale who combined for 15 points highlighted by a trio of three-pointers. A Randolph layup pulled the Crimson Tide within 49-47 at the 9:10 mark.
On the next possession, LSU answered the bell with a Martin alley-oop dunk from Quarterman. Hornsby drove in for a layup off a press breaker, Mickey got a layup off a deflected pass and Martin put in a layup off a Patterson steal to extend the lead back to double digits, 57-47, with 5:29 remaining.
LSU would go onto to hit 9-of-10 at the foul line highlighted by Quarterman’s seven free throws during the final 2:25 to put the finishing touches on the 11-point victory.
As a team, LSU was 22-of-44 and has won 17 of 18 games during the Johnny Jones era when shooting 50 percent or higher. The Tigers were 4-of-10 from three-point territory and 23-of-38 at the charity stripe.
LSU wraps up a stretch of three home games over a six-day span as No. 1 Kentucky visits the Maravich Center on Tuesday evening. Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m., and the game will be televised by ESPN as part of the network’s “Super Tuesday” package. The telecast also will be available on www.WatchESPN.com and the Watch ESPN app.
Advanced ticket sales are currently sold out for Tuesday’s LSU-Kentucky basketball game. Further advisories about tickets and parking will be available here and via media outlets Monday afternoon.
LSU Students are reminded that their section remains free admission with valid ID on game night, but students are reminded there are a limited number of seats available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The LSU Sports Radio Network will broadcast the game on its flagship station Eagle 98.1 FM in the Baton Rouge area and for Geaux Zone subscribers at www.LSUsports.net/live. Jim Hawthorne, Ricky Blanton and Kevin Ford will call the action.
For all of the latest news and information on Tiger basketball, visit www.LSUsports.net/basketball. Fans can also follow the program on its social media outlets atwww.Facebook.com/LSUBasketball along with @LSUBasketball and @LSUCoachJones on Twitter and @LSUBasketball on Instagram.
LSU HEAD COACH JOHNNY JONES
Opening Statement …
“It was a good team win and great effort. I thought we did a great job of getting off to a really good start, which was something that was needed. Alabama’s two big losses came by way of Kentucky, the No. 1 team in the country. Other games that they had in conference that they didn’t win have been like two point ballgames. They also played Wichita State until the last second plays there at Wichita State early in the season. We knew the talent level that we were dealing with and the experience that we were dealing with out there on the floor. I thought we did a great job defensively there in the first half, holding them to only 24 percent shooting from the field. I thought we did a great job of sharing the basketball in the first half, shooting a great percentage and having seven assists on 11 made baskets. That was big for us. I thought the big difference in the game was that we shot less three-pointers—only 10. We got to the line 38 times. I thought we were much better and aggressive trying to get the ball to the rim. I thought that was one of the big differences in the game tonight.”
On Tim Quarterman and Jalyn Patterson‘s spark as starters…
“I thought both guys played well again. I thought they did a great job of sharing the basketball and making extra passes, getting the ball moving to put the defensive pass behind. Guys did a good job of making shots. I thought Jarell (Martin) and Jordan (Mickey) both were aggressive going toward the rim, which allowed some driving lanes or some open shots for the other guys as well.”
On the impact of the new starting lineup …
“I thought both guys played well. They did a great job of sharing the basketball, making extra passes, getting the ball quickly and guys did a great job of making shots. Jarrell (Martin) and Jordan (Mickey) were aggressive going towards the rim, which allowed some driving lanes and open shots for those other guys as well.”
On maintaining the lead late in the game …
“I told our guys that Alabama wasn’t going to go away. I thought we made some great plays and did a great job of getting the lead back up. They have some great players, guys like (Levi) Randolph, (Rodney) Cooper, and (Shannon) Hale who are capable of stretching the defense. They hit some three-pointers, and (Riley) Norris knocked down some big threes for them early and had a couple there in the first half. We knew those guys would take some chances. They did, and their shots went down. We just had to settle in and make sure we made a run of our own. When they put their press on, we had to execute under the pressure. I thought that our guys did a good job on the back end of the press of executing and making plays.”
On the free throw shooting late in the game …
“We’ve got the guys shooting the free throws that we want on the line. Unfortunately, they didn’t go down tonight. We did get to the line 38 times. Late in the game, I thought we executed at the free throw line. Jarell Martin stepped up and knocked down a couple of free throws. (Jordan) Mickey knocked his down. Tim (Quarterman) was able to get to the free throw line and knock a couple of free throws down, which was needed and really stopped their run.”
On making changes and preparing for tonight’s game …
“I thought that, for the quick turnaround that we had, we were only going to be on the floor for x-amount of time. We had to make sure that we addressed some things early on, and we did. I thought the guys did a great job of understanding, regardless of the minutes that they would play tonight, that they had to do some things and address some issues at practice to prepare and get ready for this game. I thought they did a great job of taking that in.”
On playing No. 1 Kentucky in the PMAC on Tuesday …
“We’re excited about the next game on our schedule. It happens to be Tuesday against the number one team in the country. That will be another great opportunity for our team, for our fan base and for the conference. We look forward to the challenge. It’s one of those games that I’m sure a lot of people are looking at. When you have the number one team coming to your home floor or wherever you’re playing, it’s special. It gets a lot of people excited, not only players but our fan base and everyone else. We look forward to the experience as well.”
LSU FORWARD JORDAN MICKEY
On what was key to the team taking an early lead…
“We came out extremely strong tonight. We took over the game and never looked back. We came out with plenty of energy and carried it out throughout the whole game.”
On Jalyn Patterson and Tim Quarterman‘s play…
“Jalyn and Tim are some big energy guys. By having them in the game and starting tonight, it created more energy throughout the entire team. We were able to come out extremely hard and come out with a nice win tonight.”
On Jalyn Patterson‘s steal late in the second half…
“That was a huge play. Jalen doesn’t hang his head ever and tries to bounce back. Coach (Jones) always tells us to forget our mistakes and move on to the next play.”
LSU GUARD TIM QUARTERMAN
On being able to come out with the victory…
“It feels great. We went right at them early. We played shut down defense early, and we played as a team. We made the extra plays tonight, and that was the difference.”
On being able to hit free throws at the end of the game…
“We missed too many free throws during the game. We need to go in and practice and look to improve our percentage. We just need to be more focused at the line and knock them down every time.“
On being in the starting lineup tonight…
“I had the same feeling that I always have before entering a game. I just wanted to start off on the right note and get our team off to an early lead. “
On Alabama’s run midway through the second half…
“They hit some tough contested shots late in the game. They are a good team. We knew they could get hot quickly, and we did a good job of sustaining that lead during the entire game.”
ALABAMA HEAD COACH ANTHONY GRANT
“I thought in the first half we just didn’t come out with good energy. We didn’t have the aggressiveness that we needed to, and we were on our heels for most of the first half. I thought you could see energy in the last five minutes. I thought we fought in the second half, and we were able to cut the deficit to one or two possessions. Unfortunately for us, they were able to make a run that we weren’t able to overcome.”
On losing Retin Obasohan to injury…
“He has had a hand injury for over a week. He’s played in a couple of games since then. I’m assuming that you run the risk of infection every time you have an open wound. It seems like he has an infection in his hand, and it swelled up last night on the trip in. I found out what he had this morning, but apparently last night the swelling began. I was hoping it would calm down, but it didn’t and it got worst. We got some antibiotics in him, and they didn’t make enough of an impact. Obviously, we’ll have to wait for his status moving forward.”
On the play in the second half to cut into LSU’s lead…
“I think the group we had out there showed a lot of heart and a lot of grit. They fought. That was the challenge at halftime because I didn’t feel like we were doing that. It’s unfortunate that sometimes we have to get down before we get to fight and believe. We are 10 games into SEC play, and we have almost half of SEC play left. For us, we have been in a lot of difficult and challenging games. With what we’ve experienced, we have to start to understand what’s required on any given night in terms of the effort. We have to have belief in ourselves and our teammates. It’s got to kick in for us to overcome any second guessing or any other issues that there are may be. We have to overcome any fear of what’s going to happen to me if things don’t go well. We have to get to that point and have to mature to that point.”
On Devin Mitchell’s performance…
“I thought Devin’s effort was really good tonight. In his 12 minutes, he did a really good job in the press and on defense. Offensively, he only got one shot at the end of the game. It was good to see him as a freshman after not having played for so long. He has had a good stretch here in practice in terms of his focus and energy. You never know when an opportunity will present itself. You have to make sure you’re prepared for the opportunity when it does. I thought he handled it well tonight to come on the road as a freshman and perform as well as he did. I thought it was encouraging, and I told him after the game that I thought he did a really good job.”
ALABAMA GUARD LEVI RANDOLPH
On today’s game…
“We were prepared to play with everybody we had. We were very confident in the guys we had on the court.”