Antonio Blakeney leads LSU with 28 points.
Steve Franz

Alabama Takes Down Basketball Tigers

Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
Communications Sr. Associate

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama – A torrid first-half shooting the ball by Alabama and 16 points off turnovers in the first 20 minutes spelled another defeat for the LSU Tigers Saturday afternoon as the Crimson Tide scored a 90-72 victory over the Tigers at Coleman Coliseum.

The Tigers, who would actually outscore the Tide in the second half (40-39), fell to 9-17 and 1-13 in the Southeastern Conference entering the final two weeks of the regular season. Alabama is now 16-10 on the season and 9-5 in the league.

LSU’s Antonio Blakeney, who played the majority of his minutes in the second half, added to his impressive scoring run of late with 28 points on 9-of-14 shooting overall with two treys and 8-of-12 at the free throw line. Duop Reath had 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting, while Brandon Sampson had 11 points with two treys. Wayde Sims came off the bench to play 24 minutes and hit all three shots and all four field goals to score 10 points.

Riley Norris led a quintet of Alabama players in double figures with 17 points, hitting all four of his treys in the first 6:29 of the game. Ar’Mond Davis off the bench played 20 minutes hit three treys and scored 15 points. Three players – Bola Olaniyan, Braxton Key and Jimmie Taylor – each had 11 points but Olaniyan had 16 rebounds (7 offensive). Key had seven assists.

In the opening half, Alabama hit 16-of-31 field goals for 51.6% and 9-of-18 from the arc (50.0%) while LSU was just 11-of-26 (42.3%) and 1-of-8 from the arc. Alabama had just four first half turnovers to LSU’s 10.

The Tigers took the opening lead on a bucket by Blakeney who had nine points in seven first-half minutes. But Alabama countered with six straight on a bucket and Dazon Ingram, a dunk by Donta Hall and an offensive rebound score by Olaniyan.

The Tide took advantage of the misses and turnovers to sprint out to a 12-0 run that took the game from 16-13 Alabama to 28-13. Norris made two-of-three three-point attempts to open the run then Taylor made one free throw which was followed by two more by Avery Johnson, Jr. In fitting fashion it was a three by Davis that closed the run at the 9:25 mark of the opening half.

The Tigers continued to battle, closing the game to nine on two occasions, entering the final six minutes of the half and took the Alabama lead down to just 10, 42-32, with 2:27 left after a three-point play on a jumper and free throw by Skylar Mays.

But Davis had a three and a dunk, Hall had a layup and Davis made two more free throws to extend the halftime lead to 19 points, 51-32, on another 9-0 run. LSU in that span missed two three-point attempts, one free throw and turned the ball over three times.

Alabama would lead by 26 in the second half of play at 67-41, as the game more-or-less played itself out from there with neither team able to make big runs as the scoring for the half remained even virtually throughout the final nine minutes.

For Blakeney it was his 20th game of 20 or more points in his career, the most by an LSU player in a career since the start of the 2010-11 season.

The Tigers shot 53.6 percent in the second half (15-of-28), making 3-of-5 from the arc. Alabama shot 55.2 percent and 1-of-7 from the arc in the second half. The Tigers finished up at 26-of-54 for the game, 48.1%, and 30.8 percent (4-of-13) from the arc. Alabama shot 53.3 percent (32-of-60) and 10-of-25 from the arc.

LSU now hosts Auburn at the Maravich Center on Tuesday night at 6 p.m. in a game broadcast by the LSU Sports Radio Network and televised on the SEC Network. Follow updates on LSU Basketball at www.Facebook.com/LSUBasketball and on Twitter @LSUBasketball.

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