Men's Basketball Falls at LSU, 67-58
Feb. 11, 2012
BATON ROUGE, La. - Freshman Rodney Cooper scored a career-high 28 points in the Alabama men's basketball team's 67-58 loss to LSU at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center Saturday night. The Crimson Tide falls to 16-8 overall and 5-5 in Southeastern Conference play while LSU improves to 14-10 and 4-6 in the SEC.
Alabama, playing without suspended starters JaMychal Green, Trevor Releford, Andrew Steele and Tony Mitchell, started four freshmen and a junior against the Tigers. LSU jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first two and a half minutes of the game before a basket by rookie Levi Randolph put the Tide on the board. LSU continued to build its lead throughout the first half and held the Tide scoreless for the final five minutes of the first half, building a 31-15 halftime advantage.
"I thought LSU did a very good job in the first half of being able to build the lead," UA head coach Anthony Grant said. "Offensively we really struggled to have any continuity in the first half."
Alabama scored 12 unanswered points to start the second half, cutting LSU's lead to four. The Tide pulled to within three with 11:25 left in the second half and trailed by just six with 2:27 left in the game, but could get no closer.
"In the second half we came out with more aggression and I thought Rodney did a great job of attacking and taking advantage of what the defense gave him tonight," Grant said. "Unfortunately we weren't able to sustain the momentum that we had and LSU had a lot to do with that."
The vast majority of Alabama's production came from its freshman class. In addition to Cooper's career- and game-high 28 points, rookie Nick Jacobs added 14 points and Randolph led Alabama in rebounding with five boards.
The Tigers were led by junior Justin Hamilton who had 21 points. Freshman Johnny O'Bryant III added 17 for LSU while sophomore Andre Stringer chipped in 15 points. O'Bryant III and Hamilton led the Tigers and the game in rebounding with nine and six boards, respectively.
Next up, Alabama will host the Florida Gators on Tuesday, February 14 at 6 p.m. CT at Coleman Coliseum. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.