Turnovers Cost Men's Basketball in First SEC Loss
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - In a match-up of two of the SEC's Top 3 defensive scoring units, Alabama rode a 20-point effort from Trevor Releford on 9-of-11 shooting to claim a 69-53 victory over the LSU men's basketball team Wednesday at Coleman Coliseum.
LSU (11-5, 1-1 SEC) had its run of holding opponents under 60 points come to a close at nine straight games. South Alabama was the last team to break the 60-point barrier versus the Tigers back on November 23.
Andre Stringer tallied 13 points on 5-of-11 from the floor sparked by a trio of three-pointers. Reigning SEC Player of the Week, Justin Hamilton, tacked on 12 points and hauled in six rebounds. Anthony Hickey and Storm Warren chipped in eight points apiece.
The Crimson Tide (13-3, 2-0 SEC), who was ranked as high as No. 12 in mid-December and are receiving votes in the latest editions AP and ESPN/USA Today Top 25 polls, connected on 50.8 shooting en route to their fifth straight win. Tony Mitchell added a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
LSU erased an early 8-2 deficit and reeled off 11 of the next 13 points. Hickey buried back-to-back jumpers to cap the spurt, and the Tigers took a 13-10 advantage at the 11:51 mark of the first half.
Alabama turned up the defensive intensity and held LSU to only two baskets for the rest of the half. Levi Randolph knocked down a three-ball as the opening half come to a close, and the Crimson Tide built a 31-19 lead at the intermission.
Both teams committed 15 turnovers, but Alabama scored 25 of the game's 35 points off miscues. The Tigers pulled within 40-32 on a Storm Warren lay-up with 14:25 remaining. Over the next 2:16, the Crimson Tide ran off the next nine points capped by a Mitchell jumper to surge back ahead by a 17-point spread.
LSU concludes its two-game road trip Saturday at Arkansas. Tip-off is slated for 8 p.m. and Fox Sports Network will carry the action live from Bud Walton Arena.
The LSU Sports Radio Network also will broadcast the game on 100.7 FM (The Tiger) in the Baton Rouge area. Jim Hawthorne, Kevin Ford and Ricky Blanton will call the action.