Saturday, March 08, 2003
|Mo Williams led the Tide with 19 points|
» Box Score
By BRETT MARTEL, AP Sports Writer
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- Ronald Dupree scored 14 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as LSU defeated Alabama 66-62 on Saturday, giving the Tigers five victories in a row to close the regular season.
The victory also gave LSU (19-9, 8-8 Southeastern Conference) the third seed in the SEC West Division going into the conference tournament, which begins Thursday in New Orleans. Alabama (17-10, 7-9) could have clinched the second seed in the West with a victory but instead finished fourth.
Torris Bright and Collis Temple each scored 13 points for LSU, which outshot Alabama 51 percent to 38 percent. Darrel Mitchell scored 11, hitting all three 3-pointers he attempted, the last giving LSU the lead for good at 55-52 with about 4:20 left to play. Temple also hit three 3-pointers, all in the second half, and his third gave LSU a 60-54 lead with under two minutes to go.
Jaime Lloreda had 13 rebounds and 11 points, muscling his way inside for two big baskets in the final four minutes.
Maurice Williams led Alabama with 19 points, while Kennedy Winston scored 14 and Earnest Shelton 13, including three 3-pointers. Erwin Dudley grabbed 10 rebounds for the Crimson Tide.
The Tigers scored the first seven points of the second half to open up a 36-29 lead. Temple hit a 3, then Bright made a steal and no-look pass on the fast break to Xavier Whipple for a layup. Whipple followed that up with an alley-oop pass to Dupree for a dunk.
But with just under 10 minutes left, Williams hit a short pull-up jumper to spark an 8-0 Alabama run that gave the Crimson Tide a 52-48 lead. It was Alabama's first lead since going ahead 10-9 early in the first half.
But it would be short-lived as LSU responded with a 9-0 run, capped by Lloreda's baseline drive and layup off the glass, to take back the lead for good.
LSU led through most of the first half, moving ahead 25-17 on a 7-0 run in which Bright hit a 3, Mitchell flew through the lane for a tip-in, and Dupree grabbed a tough offensive rebound and tossed in a short baseline jumper.
LSU led 29-22 after Mitchell hit his second 3-pointer of the first half, but Alabama rallied to tie the game at 29 at halftime on a handsome jumper off a crossover dribble by Williams, a tip-in by Winston and a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer by Shelton.