The game was played before the fifth-largest crowd in the Maravich Center since the renovation in 2005.
Ryan McCarble

Men's Basketball Falls to Alabama, 74-66

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

BATON ROUGE – LSU’s success on the road has not yet transpired into wins at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center as the Tigers fell to Alabama, 74-66, Saturday night to fall to 11-5 and 2-2 in the SEC.

Entering Tuesday’s 6 p.m. game at home with Georgia, LSU is 0-2 at home and 2-0 on the road. Alabama goes to 11-6 and 3-2 in the SEC.

The game was played before the fifth largest crowd in the Maravich Center since the renovation of the building prior to the 2005-06 season that lowered the capacity to 13,215. The final attendance number of 13,600 marked the 10th time since then that an above capacity crowd was announced for a men’s basketball game.

LSU never could get things going in the smooth fashion that they did on Wednesday night in Arkansas. After getting a five-point lead in the first half with 7:27 to go, the Tide moved in front and led 32-30 at intermission.

In the second half, Alabama took advantage of 12 offensive rebounds and a 40-24 overall advantage on the boards to get as much as a 15-point lead with 7:31 to play before the Tigers were able to cut the game four in the final eight seconds.

Tremont Waters led LSU with 19 points, five assists and three steals, while Aaron Epps had 14 points and Duop Reath 12. LSU was 21-of-52 from the floor (40.4%), 7-of-25 from the arc (28%) and 17-of-22 (77.3%) from the line.

Alabama was led by Dazon Ingram with 18 points and 10 rebounds while Collin Sexton had 15 points. The Tide shot 43.9% overall (25-57) and 6-of-22 from the three-point arc, but was also an impressive 18-of-18 at the free throw line.

Alabama had a 36-24 advantage in the paint, while LSU got 12 points off 19 Alabama turnovers to nine for 14 LSU turnovers. Alabama had a 13-6 advantage in second chance points and the Alabama bench outscored LSU 28-11.

In the first half, the teams played fairly even for most of the way with five ties and five lead changes.

After two full weeks of play the Tigers 2-2 record finds them in a tie for seventh place but only league leader Auburn (4-0) hasn’t played a fifth game so the teams between Auburn and LSU have a game in hand in the standings. Georgia will come into Baton Rouge with an 11-5 record and 2-3 overall. Tickets for the game are available at

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Opening statement …
“Obviously it was a disappointing night. Give Alabama a ton of credit they came into a great environment and really took it took it to us, physically punished us. Coach Johnson had his guys ready, and they did a great job. I want to thank all of our fans who came. They were awesome. I feel terrible. I feel like I let everybody down just to have that amount of folks here. We haven’t figured it out at home yet. We have to change up our routine. We have to change some things up at home. We just haven’t played very well in our two home games in conference. We can win on the road but we can’t win at home … Give Alabama a ton of credit … We can sit here and talk all we want. Our first shot defense was good, but they just physically annihilated us on the glass. If we don’t get that corrected Tuesday is going to be even worse because Georgia is a phenomenal rebounding team, a phenomenal defensive team who’s very, very tough and very, very physical. Just a disappointing night.”

On if he made contact with an official during the contest …
“I called a timeout. I don’t know if I touched him. If I touched him it wasn’t intentional. I don’t know if I touched him or not. I don’t know. I was just trying to call timeout and get the guys in the huddle. I thought maybe there was a missed call beforehand that I was talking about. I was not trying to touch him, bump him or anything like that if that did happen. I don’t think it did, but maybe it did. I don’t know. I haven’t seen any video. That wasn’t the intention.”

On tonight’s crowd …
“I thought our crowd was great. I just wish we could have delivered for them. Like I said, I feel terrible. I wish we could have delivered for them. They came out in full force. We asked them to come. I told our guys after the game, ‘Some of you guys have been here. You’ve gone from playing in front of 3,000 people to that.’ We had 12,000 at the Kentucky game and 13,600 or whatever it was tonight. You have to play. You have to show up and you’ve got to play. You’ve got to show up and play. The same things that beat us in the Kentucky game beat us today. It was the exact same thing. We are going to be sick when we watch the film, but Alabama had a lot to do with it. They were more physical. They were bigger. They were longer. They were athletic. They had a lot to do with it.”

G Tremont Waters

On where the game turned …
“I felt like in the first half Coach (Will) Wade said at halftime we were playing sluggish. Nobody had any energy and the game was just going in their favor. That is why we were down two. Coming out we were supposed to pick it up, but we just didn’t.”

On what made it difficult to get shots off …
“I would have to say that we had open shots we just didn’t take some. We just gave up a lot of open shots and tried to just make an extra play for no reason. We just didn’t shoot the ball.”

F Aaron Epps

On if the previous two emotional road games effected their energy tonight …
“I just feel that we should come out and play harder. We didn’t play as hard as we normally do. We just can’t let that happen again.”

On if he is appreciative of the crowd sticking around until the end …
“Very. It is always nice to know that our fans are there for us. That just makes us play that much harder.”

F Duop Reath

On struggling inside against Alabama …
“They just outplayed us on the interior. I feel like we could have been more physical. They outplayed us on the inside and we have to turn it around.”

On being on the court while the crowd was emotional during the last few minutes …
“We just wanted to win. I felt like us being competitive, coaches being competitive, they just want to win. That is why everybody got a little heated.”

On if there were any nerves playing for a sellout crowd …
“No. I felt like we just used their energy just to play even harder. We would like to thank them for coming out. I hope to see them on Tuesday when we play Georgia. We could use their energy. We would like to thank everybody for coming out today.”


Opening statement …
“I’m really excited about our effort on both ends of the floor. Attention to detail, we got off to a good start except for the first play when they got an offensive rebound. We rebounded the basketball and our guys were locked in. We were pretty much in control of the game. Sure, they got a couple of steals there at the end and we didn’t take great care of the ball, but it’s a good learning lesson for us. It’s great to be able to learn in situations like this. I’m proud of our guys, but the consistent theme has been a focus on discipline in practice and better leadership from the team for better results.”

On how non-conference games like at Arizona helped prep the team for hostile road game like tonight…
“I don’t want to mention another team from another conference because I love the SEC and we did a good job against LSU, they’re tough to guard. We played a game in the non-conference that prepared us for a game like tonight. That’s something that we talked about. This environment, people hanging from the rafters, it’s great to see. LSU looked like it was close to a sellout tonight. Our players responded. The fans were really into the game, but we kept our composure overall and we just had a much better second half, especially offensively.”

On going 18-for-18 from the free-throw line…
“I think that it’s more about confidence. We started in the offseason shooting more free throws than we had ever shot in the first two years. Then we worked on pressure free throws. We play all these different free throw games, but it’s just trying to build our guy’s confidence. Nobody’s free throw is flawed. Everybody has pretty good form. It’s just all about breathing, what are you thinking about at the line, positive imagery and its paying dividends for us, all of the things we have been practicing. Hopefully it will continue.”

On perfect free throw percentage…
“It’s a shocker. We work hard in practice, and Coach Avery (Johnson) before we leave the gym he makes sure we make 50 free throws. It paid off tonight.”

On Alabama’s mindset at halftime…
“Coach was telling us to stay aggressive. We knew they were not going to lay down. They are a hot team, so we had to come out in the second half with the aggression that we had in the first half.”

On the final five minutes of the game…
“It was pretty difficult. Every team in the SEC is good this year. We just wanted to stay patient and poised at the end because we knew we were going to get trapped and pressured toward the end of the game.”

On the game environment…
“They had a great crowd so I am just glad we were able to come here and not be fazed by the crowd. We just played our game and got a win.”

On Alabama’s upcoming game with Auburn…
“It is going to be good. Auburn is a good team, and we just know they are going to come and play hard because it is a rivalry game. It’s the Iron Bowl of basketball so we just have to come out, be aggressive, and continue to play Alabama basketball.”