Men's Basketball Defeats LSU, 82-80

Jan. 25, 2014

Photo Gallery

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama men's basketball team defeated LSU, 82-80, Saturday night in a back-and-forth game at Coleman Coliseum. Senior guard Trevor Releford led the Crimson Tide with 21 points and two steals.

"LSU did a great job," UA head coach Anthony Grant said. "They took it to us in the second half. We turned it over a lot against their pressure. They did a good job of creating opportunities and attacking us. The thing I am most proud of our guys for was their ability to overcome the deficit that we had when [LSU] took the lead. Our guys never folded. They got tougher and made the plays down the stretch that we needed to win the game. That is what I want to see out of our team. I want to see that growth."

Shannon Hale had career-highs of 17 points and six assists, including knocking down a go-ahead three-pointer with 37 seconds remaining in the game.

Junior Rodney Cooper had 19 points, with 17 of those coming in the second half, along with a game-high six rebounds. Junior Levi Randolph added 14 points and two steals.

After falling behind 7-0 to open the game, Alabama (9-10, 3-3 SEC) went on a 24-2 run to seize control of the game. The Tide led 36-23 at the half and led by as many as 19 points with 17:04 remaining in the game.

However, LSU (12-6, 3-3) responded with a 21-4 run of its own to narrow Alabama's lead to 58-56 with 8:40 remaining. The Tigers eventually went ahead and led by as many as three points (71-68) with 4:55 left.

The Tide kept close and Hale's three-pointer gave Alabama the lead for good, but the win did not come easily. Algie Key fouled LSU's Andre Stringer on a three-point attempt, with seven seconds remaining. Stringer calmly drained all three free throws to cut the lead to one, 81-80. However. Cooper hit a free throw and blocked Anthony Hickey's game-tying shot attempt at the buzzer to seal the victory.

LSU's Johnny O'Bryant III led five Tigers in double figures with 18 points, while Shavon Coleman added 13 points and a game-high three steals.

Prior to tonight's win, Alabama had lost 19-straight games when allowing 70 or more points.

Alabama will return to action on Wednesday, Jan. 29, when the Tide travels to take on the Auburn Tigers at 7 p.m. CT. The contest, which will be the first of two meetings between the squads this season, will be televised on SEC TV.

For all the latest information on the team, follow AlabamaMBB on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. General athletic news can be found @UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and Alabama Athletics on Facebook.