LSU Looks For Win Saturday at Alabama
Communications Sr. Associate
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The LSU Tigers hopes to find a breakthrough moment Saturday afternoon when they face the Alabama Crimson Tide here Saturday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. at Coleman Coliseum.
For the Tigers and the Tide it will be their second meeting of the year after playing in January in Baton Rouge in which the two teams were tied at 5:09 to play in the game.
The contest will be broadcast on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network (Eagle 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge and at LSUsports.net/live) with the “Voice of the Tigers” Chris Blair and televised on the SEC Network with Mike Morgan and Pat Bradley on the call.
LSU is 9-16 overall, 1-12 in the league, while the Crimson Tide is 15-10 and 8-5 in the SEC.
In a game that had 10 ties and 11 lead changes, Brandon Sampson of LSU made a layup to tie the game at 56-56. Alabama called time out and on the ensuing possession, Riley Norris hit a three to give Bama the 59-56 lead. LSU missed a jumper and Norris came down and hit another trey.
The Tigers turned the ball over and following the media timeout at 3:58, Donta Hall’s dunk advanced the Alabama lead to eight. LSU missed a three-point attempts and the Crimson Tide got a three-pointer by Corbin Collins and in 1:59 of actual clock time, the game went from tied to +11 for the Tide.
LSU could never recover, losing 81-66.
Collins led LSU with 24 points and Norris had 20 to lead Alabama. Duop Reath and Skylar Mays had 12 points each while Aaron Epps and Antonio Blakeney had 11 apiece. The Tigers led 33-28 at the half and Alabama posted 53 second half points, making seven treys and shooting 51.6 percent with a 25-8 advantage in points off turnovers.
Since that game on Jan. 14, LSU has been playing better basketball for longer, but now that the start to the games has been much improved the last two weeks, the ability to sustain and finish the games is paramount.
Of the first Alabama game, Coach Johnny Jones said, “Coming out of the locker room, in the first play of the second half we missed a layup. Then we came back and missed a wide-open jumper. Then we came back and split a one-and-one. Then we missed another layup. So if you execute on those plays you not only keep them at bay but you can stretch your margin of lead. It forces your opponent to play a different way. We didn't do that. They didn't score, we did a pretty good job on the defensive end of the floor, but we failed to execute offensively. We’ve just got to do a better job of making sure we’re knocking down shots. What we’re running offensively works. We’ve got high field goal shooting percentage guys. We’ve just got to make sure we make those shots and we didn't do that. It allowed them to hang around and unfortunately they hit a spurt late with about four or five minutes left. They got on a nice little stretch there and were able to turn us back.
“I think our team is growing and continues to get better and we’ll have an opportunity to address those challenges again on Saturday against a team that I think has been playing well. They’re a team that was in a strong, tough battle (Wednesday) against a Missouri team that I think has been playing well as of late. They play well at home and Alabama was able to get a victory there in a hard fought battle … We look forward to Saturday afternoon at 2:30 to be able to battle against a team that we had a setback against earlier this year. Hopefully we can make some adjustments on some things that hindered us here to be a better team and hopefully be on the right side of the score this time.”
The Tigers return home on Tuesday night at 6 p.m. to take on Auburn in the next-to-last home game of the regular season which begins its final two weeks of play on Tuesday.
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