Alabama Men’s Basketball Falls Short at LSU, 88-79, in Conference Road Opener
The Alabama men's basketball team fell at LSU, 88-79, Tuesday night at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Freshman Kira Lewis Jr. led the Crimson Tide with 15 points and went a perfect 8-of-8 from the free throw line.
The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for the Crimson Tide (10-4, 1-1 SEC), but also broke Alabama’s five-game winning streak in the series which included three consecutive wins on LSU’s home floor.
“I want to congratulate Coach (Will) Wade and LSU. They were outstanding tonight,” Alabama head coach Avery Johnson said. “They were full of energy and did a nice job of protecting their homecourt. They came out in the first half and shot the ball extremely well. Even made a couple of bank threes, you know, that is how you get rewarded when you play hard. They were energized as they were the better team tonight. I give our team credit, we did fight back a little bit and in the second half we found a line-up that had some chemistry as well as competitive spirit and fortunately we were able to cut the lead down. We just couldn’t overcome their halftime lead. Give them credit, we’ll just have to bounce back and get back to work.”
The Crimson Tide fell behind in the first half and trailed by 15 at intermission, 43-28, due in large part to the hot shooting from beyond the arc by LSU (11-3, 1-0). The Tigers knocked down eight of the 10 threes in the opening stanza, which included a pair that were banked in.
The Tide would go on to trail by as many as 19-points, 47-28, early in the second half before making a comeback.
Trailing 66-58 with 10:32 left in the second half, Alabama when on a 14-2 run over the next 3:52 to trim the LSU lead to single digits, 70-62, with 6:40 remaining in regulation. Effective free throw shooting mixed with timely stops on defense helped the Tide to pull within four points, 79-75 with 1:46 left in the contest.
However, LSU was able to score two straight baskets to increase the lead back up to eight, 83-75, with just over a minute left to play. That proved to be the difference down the stretch as LSU was able to hit its free throws and held on for the nine-point win.
Sophomore Alex Reese put in 12 points, while sophomore John Petty added nine points, eight rebounds and three assists. The duo came off the bench to help the Tide reserves outscore its counterparts, 39-36. Sophomore Herbert Jones added 10 points five rebounds – all on the offensive glass – and five assists.
Sophomore Tremont Waters was the leading scorer for both teams with 19 points.
Alabama will return to Tuscaloosa on Saturday afternoon when it welcomes Texas A&M to Coleman Coliseum. That contest is set to tip off at 2:30 p.m. CT and will be televised on SEC Network.