LSU Basketball Loses Road Tilt to Alabama, 109-88
Mike Williams III had a team-high 16 points.
TUSCALOOSA, Alabama – The Alabama Crimson Tide outscored LSU 9-4 at the end of the first half and then shot 66.7 percent in the second half while holding the Tigers to just 36.8 percent shooting to win a 109-88 offensive shootout at Coleman Coliseum Saturday night.
Alabama was 20-of-30 from the field in the second half with six three-pointers and 13-of-14 at the free throw line, scoring 59 second-half points to break open a 50-44 game in favor of the Crimson Tide at the half.
The teams battled almost evenly for much of the first 20 minutes with five ties and nine lead changes in the first 20 minutes. Both teams kept control of the basketball as well with LSU turning it over twice and LSU just five times.
LSU out shot Alabama in the first half, making 16-of-33 (48.5%) with five treys while Alabama was 15-of-33 (45.5%) with eight treys. LSU was just 7-of-13 in the first half of play at the free throw line while Alabama made 12-of-14.
The Crimson Tide was able to get the ball moving inside in the second half and took advantage of LSU mistakes to get some easy transition buckets. Alabama outscored LSU, 22-4, on fast break buckets and 17 of those came in the second half. As they built the lead to as much as 23 in the final minute.
LSU had five players in double figures with Mike Williams III scoring 16 points, Derek Fountain 14, Will Baker 12, Jalen Cook 11 and Jordan Wright getting 10 points and five assists. Wright keeps his double figures scoring streak alive at 17 games.
Alabama was led by Mark Sears who had 21 points and five assists and was 11-of-11 at the line. Latrell Wrightsell Jr., hit five treys in scoring 19 points, while Aaron Estrada had 18. Both Grant Nelson and Rylan Griffen had 12 each.
Alabama finished the game shooting 55.6 percent (35-of-63) with 14 treys and 25-of-28 at the free throw line. LSU finished at 42.3 percent (30-of-71), making 11 treys (the fourth straight game with double digit three pointers) and was 17-of-27 at the free throw line.
Alabama out rebounded LSU, 42-33.
LSU is off in the midweek and will host Arkansas next Saturday (Feb. 3) at the Maravich Center at 11 a.m. CT.
Postgame Quotes Via LSU Radio
LSU Head Coach Matt McMahon
On having success in the first half…
“The first 17 minutes especially, I thought both teams played at a really high level on the offensive side of the ball. There were very few turnovers, it was a tight game there and then in the least three minutes, we had three turnovers that I thought hurt us. But with all that said, you go into the half only down six. We were able to finish some plays at the rim, and we got to the free-throw line, wish we could have converted at a higher rate in the first half at the free-throw line. Then in the second half, we weren’t able to get to the rim and finish plays. They (Alabama) blocked some of those, walled us up and now you are in their transition game. I know they scored too many points in the first half, but they only had five in transition and a lot of them were just good half-court execution. But then in the second half, they got those stops, we took some quick shots that I thought really hurt us and fueled their transition game and they have that ability as we just saw to put up a lot of points in a hurry.”
On the contribution from the LSU bench…
“I think we had four guys with two fouls fairly early in the first half. I thought Mike Williams III was really effective on the offensive side of the ball. Off the bench, Derek Fountain came in and had 14 points and 6 rebounds, I thought that gave us a big lift. Hunter Dean, didn’t put up big numbers, but you look and when he was on the floor, it was an even game. I thought he came in and enabled us to hang around there in the first half. Just unfortunately in the second half, we couldn’t get it done on either end of the floor.”
On trying to slow Alabama down…
“In the first half, the pace was very up-tempo, but it was still a half-court game with a lot of half-court possessions for both teams. We would have liked to be able to guard them better. But in the second half, some poor offense on our part really fueled their transition game. You can’t let turnovers or poor shots on offense fuel that transition game and I think in that stretch where the game went from a four-point game to a 20-point game, that was some of what happened.”