The Alabama men’s basketball team was able to get back into the win column on Saturday with an impressive road victory over LSU. After beating the Tigers 109-88 only two weeks ago, the Crimson Tide walked away with a similar result this weekend (despite the game being in Baton Rouge) with a final score of 109-92.
How It Happened
Yet again, Saturday’s game included a back-and-forth first half. The two teams were mostly exchanging blows on the offensive end, which ended up creating little room for separation. Yes, Alabama had managed to establish a 47-37 lead with just over four minutes remaining in the first half, but LSU put up seven straight points to put the score at 49-46 by halftime.
At one point in the second half, Alabama had finally built a comfortable 12-point lead, but the Tigers eventually went on a 16-4 run to take its own lead (73-72) with 9:32 remaining. The Crimson Tide immediately countered though and began to pull away at that point, outscoring LSU 37-19 over the remainder of the game. That close helped five different UA players score 15 or more points, including two who put up 21 or more.
Players of the Game
We won’t spend too much time on Mark Sears. Why? Because it feels like we talk about the veteran guard in this section after every game nowadays. It’s tough to argue against his 23 points, eight rebounds and five assists against the Tigers though. Those points paced the Tide and came only one short of a game-high, which were the 24 from LSU senior center Will Baker (22 of his came during the first half). Sears has now scored 20 or more points in seven-straight games and 10 of his last 11.
Cal State Fullerton transfer Latrell Wrightsell Jr. was spectacular in this one. He posted a season-high 21 points while hitting 6-of-9 (66.7%) three-point attempts. Equally as important, he also added a game-high 10 rebounds to give him his first double-double at Alabama while adding five assists. In two games against LSU, Wrightsell scored a whopping 40 points while his season average — at least heading into Saturday — sat at just 8.1 per game.
Nick Pringle posted a strong bounce-back performance after being suspended for two games last week. On Saturday, the senior put up a season-high 17 points to go along with five rebounds and a block. Overall, he finished 8-of-9 from the field. Aaron Estrada was responsible for 15 points, six rebounds, seven assists and a steal while continuing to contribute in a variety of ways. Rylan Griffen scored 16 points while hitting 50% from three-point land (4-of-8) and chipping in six assists (a career high).
Points off turnovers is one of the first things that stood out to me on the box score. LSU had 12 turnovers to Alabama’s eight, but UA was able to convert turnovers into points (23 for the Tide with only six for the Tigers). LSU didn’t have a single point off a turnover for a majority of the game, which speaks volumes to how Alabama managed things in this one.
The other stat that stood out were the offensive rebounds. Alabama outpaced LSU on that front in a major way, coming up with 19 of them compared to only giving up six. That’s a major reason why UA had 28 second-chance points versus LSU, who only had eight. Putting up these numbers went a long way in Nate Oats and company exiting Baton Rouge with a sizable victory.
After back-to-back road games, Alabama will return to Coleman Coliseum next Saturday to take on Texas A&M. The Aggies are currently 14-8 (5-4 SEC) and have won four of their last five games. They will play Tennessee this Saturday night though, so that record will be changing soon. Tipoff between Alabama and A&M is once again set for 11 a.m. CT (noon ET).
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