The Alabama Crimson Tide (9–10, 3–3 SEC) notched an ugly conference win against the LSU Tigers (12–6, 3–3 SEC) in Coleman Coliseum on Saturday night.
Forward Shannon Hale and guard Rodney Cooper came up big for the Crimson Tide to seal the deal against a Tigers’ team that was dominating the second half.
Hale made a key go-ahead three-pointer with 48 seconds to play and Rodney Cooper scored the final point of the game, going 1-for–2 from the line with just 5 seconds to play.
Alabama dominated the first half and took a 36–23 lead into halftime. Senior guard Trevor Releford had a 17 points in the first 20 minutes of the game.
Releford went cold in the second half and the Tide’s defensive attack all but collapsed. Alabama allowed 57 points in the second half including most of Johnny O’Bryant III’s 18 points.
O’Bryant III was all but absent in the first half for LSU after picking up three quick fouls, but the sophomore forward did not disappoint in the second half. The Crimson Tide had no answer for O’Bryant as Nick Jacobs, Carl Engstrom and Jimmie Taylor found themselves in foul trouble late.
Trevor Releford’s 21 points on an efficient 6-for–10 night led all scorers. He also added 4 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals in a full 40 minutes of play. Freshman Shannon Hale once again eclipsed his career-high in scoring with 17 points and 6 assists.
Rodney Cooper showed his shooting touch on Saturday as he went 4-for–5 from three point range. Cooper’s 19 points tops his previous season-high of 16 points against Charleston Southern.
Levi Randolph led Alabama’s scoring attack off the bench with a respectable 14 point game. Randolph played 27 minutes as he and Algie Key worked together to replace injured guard Retin Obasohan.
Obasohan missed his second straight after straining his hip flexor earlier this week in practice. He was dressed out for the game, but it was pretty apparent that he wouldn’t be seeing any game action tonight.
Saturday’s win was much needed for the sputtering Tide. Although Alabama seemingly collapsed in the second half, they found a way to hang on and win. At this point, that’s all Anthony Grant can ask for. Coleman Coliseum made for a great atmosphere for only the second time this season and the close finish kept the crowd involved.
The Crimson Tide will look to ride this victory into Auburn on Wednesday night. Alabama will hit the road to face the Auburn Tigers (8–9, 0–6 SEC). The Tigers lost their sixteenth-straight SEC game on Saturday night and would love to break that streak against the Tide.
LSU will look to rebound against the No. 14 Kentucky Wildcats (15–4, 5–1 SEC) at home on Tuesday night.
Wednesday night’s game at Auburn Arena will tip-off at 7 p.m. CT. Television coverage will be provided by your local SEC TV affiliate. Radio coverage will be provided, as always, on your local CTSN affiliate.
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