By: Jordan Taylor
Da Boot Sports!
BATON ROUGE, La: It would be the battle for first place in the SEC when LSU (10-2 overall, 5-1 in the SEC) would host the #18 ranked Alabama (11-3 overall, 6-0 in SEC play).
The Tigers would receive some good news prior to tip off as they would welcome back Shareef O'Neil as he returns from an ankle injury. His return should give the Tigers some added help off of the bench.
LSU is riding a four game winning streak going into tonight's contest as they have really come together as a unit and have been impressive.
No change in Will Wade's starting lineup as Wilkinson, Smart, Watford, Days, & Thomas will take the court to start for the Fighting Tigers.
Below is our game recap of Tuesday night's battle for first place in this pivotal SEC matchup:
Things would get under way after Bama controlled the opening tip off. Scoring wouldn't take long after LSU came up empty on their first possession and Alabama would cash in with a deep shot from three point range by John Petty Jr.
LSU's first points of the game would finally come at the 18:50 mark when Darius Days would score on a put back dunk.
The Tigers would attack Bama in the paint early on while the Tide would heat up from the outside as they would make six straight three pointers. Four of those coming from Connor Vanover forcing LSU to burn a timeout trailing 18-4 with 15:44 on the clock.
Coming out of the timeout Alabama would continue their hot outside shooting streak, pushing the lead to 30-8 after hitting their 8th three pointer with 13:22 left in the half.
It would continue to get worse for the Tigers as they would struggle with turnovers and poor shooting throughout the half. The ball just didn't seem to fall in LSU's favor as adversity struck left and right. Everything that could go bad for the Tigers did, while Alabama did almost everything to perfection.
Alabama was having a freakish, Twightlight Zone type of performance that you seldom witness. With seven seconds left on the clock and down by 31 points, LSU would cut into the lead with a three pointer made by Javonte Smart at the buzzer to head into halftime down 60-32.
LSU would shoot a dismal 13-35 for 37% from the floor and only 2-12 from behind the three point arc for only 17% in the first half. The Tigers were also out rebounded by the quicker Tide 19-14.
Alabama ended the first 20 minutes going 21-32 from the floor for 66%, while going an amazing 14-19 from three point range for 74%.
Your leading scorers in the first half was Trendon Watford with 10 points and for Alabama John Petty Jr would total 21 points.
The start of the second half would begin with Alabama cashing in first with a tip in. LSU would bring a lot of energy out the locker room but Alabama's continued success from three point land would quiet things down for the Tigers as the rout would carry on with brutality.
The Tide would draining four three point shots in the first five minutes of the half to increase their 'social distancing' lead to 78-44 at the 15:05 mark.
Over the next five minutes LSU couldn't get much going on the offensive side of the ball with countless missed shots and turnovers, which would lead to Bama's largest lead of the game, 89-46.
With still ten minutes remaining in the contest, and behind by 43 points, LSU continued to showed no quit and they would continue to fight. Watching the Tigers trying to battle back was like watching someone slowly sink in quicksand while they desperately struggle to survive.
Both teams would empty their benches with three minutes remaining with the score painfully sitting at 104-65. The reserves would finish out the contest in what was a very disappointing night for the LSU basketball program.
The game clock would mercifully run out with Alabama's stunning 105-75 dismantling of LSU.
Cam Jordan would lead the Tigers in scoring on the night with 21 points, while Javonte Smart would add 12 points, and Trendon Watford would contribute 11.
Nothing else to say about this review other then LSU faced a very talented visiting team that found themselves in an incredible shooting zone and simply could do no wrong.
This is a very good LSU team that still has a lot to play for. They simply need to forget about this freakish loss, put it behind them and move on.
Up next for the Tigers is a trip to Lexington, Ky. to take on the 4-8 Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday, January 23rd. Tipoff is set for 5pm and the game will be carried by ESPN.
Photos Below By: Michael Bacigalupi
Photo Below By: Jonathan Mailhes