BATON ROUGE — The LSU men’s basketball team hung tough but eventually fell short in their attempt to take down No. 16 Alabama inside the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. The Crimson Tide held off the Tigers for an 109-92 victory.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
The game started with an up-tempo scoring pace by both teams as LSU’s Will Baker made a layup and seconds later Alabama’s Latrell Wrightsell Jr. drained a three-pointer. The Crimson Tide would make four of their first five shot attempts and three of their first four shots from beyond the arc.
LSU responded by hitting eight of their first 10 shots, including Baker going 4-for-4 from the field. With 14 minutes left in the first half, the Tigers held an 18-17 lead over the Crimson Tide.
After a Jordan Wright jumper with 11:15 left in the first, LSU held a 26-25 lead. Alabama answered with a Mark Sears’ three-pointer which sparked a 9-2 run by the Crimson Tide.
LSU fought back and cut the lead to three after a Baker three-pointer with 5:40 left in the first half. Alabama answered with a layup by Nick Pringle and then Trae Hannibal picked up his third personal foul.
After the Crimson Tide pushed their lead to 10 points, the Tigers responded with a Tyrell Ward jumper and then a three by Mike Williams III. With 3:35 left in first, LSU trailed 47-42.
Jalen Cook made a pair of free throws with 1:12 left in the half which cut the lead down to 49-46 and that was the score at the break.
Alabama opened up the second half with a contested three-pointer by Rylan Griffen but LSU’s Williams answered with a three of his own. The Crimson Tide seized control as the second half went on and pushed their lead to 11 after a Pringle dunk.
A three-pointer by Cook made it a seven-point game with 14:20 left, but Alabama pushed back up to 11 with a dunk by Pringle. LSU didn’t go away as the Tigers cut the lead down to three points, as Cook made a layup and three free throws.
Alabama responded with a three by Wrightshell Jr. but LSU answered right back and tied the game on a Hunter Dean putback with 10:14 left in the second half.
After a few minutes of the two teams battling back and forth, Alabama seized control with a 9-0 run as Wrightshell Jr. and Aaron Estrada drained three-pointers. The Tigers were unable to cut the lead down to single digits again as the Crimson Tide eclipsed 100 points in the victory.
BIG NUMBER: 44
Alabama attempted 44 three-pointers in Saturday’s contest, and the Crimson Tide made 18 of those shots from beyond the arc. A total of six different Alabama players made a three-pointer.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME: WILL BAKER & JALEN COOK
LSU’s big man was a big reason why the Tigers played so well in the first half as he reached double digits in scoring in the first. Baker finished the game with 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting, including going 2-of-3 from three-point range. After a sluggish start, Cook heated up in the second half and ended the game with 20 points and a team-high eight rebounds.
UP NEXT: LSU (12-11, 4-6 SEC) returns to action on Tuesday when it plays at Florida. Tip is set for 7 p.m. and you can listen to the game live on ESPN 103.7 Lafayette and 104.1 Lake Charles.