Da Boot Sports!
By: Terrill J. Weil
LSU continued to hold on to first place in the SEC with a huge, 90-76 victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide in front of 10,871 fans in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. With the win, the Tigers are now 16-4 overall, 7-0 in the SEC, and riding a nine game winning streak.
The Tigers controlled the opening tip and scored first with Jovante Smart laying the ball up and in for the 2-0 lead. Alabama would answer by showing why they are #6 in the nation making three-pointers in a game, as Jaden Shackelford quickly buried one from behind the arc. The teams played even, tied at five, until Darius Days would can a three-pointer at the 17:24 mark to give LSU a 8-5 lead. Over the next two minutes LSU would go on a 6 to 2 run, the extend their lead to, 14-7. With 8:54 to go in the half, Jovante Smart would hit a jumper to put LSU up 31-25. The score would stay stuck that way for the next 54 second. The Tigers would then turn up the heat and start to take control of the ball game, going on an impressive 12-0 run, taking a 43-25 lead. The Tide would finally score again as Jaylen Forbes made a basket at the 4:25 mark, after going five straight minutes scoreless. LSU would out score Bama, 8 to 6 the rest of the half, taking a 51-33 lead into the locker room. Emmitt Williams lead the team at the break with 17 points. Daruis Days added ten. While Skylar Mays had eight. The Tigers shot the ball well in the first half, going 16-33 for 48.5%, while going 17-18 from the charity stripe (94.4%).
Bama had first possession of the half and took 13 seconds to hit a three-pointer, that would set the early tone of the period. A combination of missed shots, and turnovers would hurt the Tigers, as Bama would begin to chip away at their 18 point halftime lead. At the 14:07 mark, Bama's Javian Davis would score on a layup to pull the Tide to within ten. The Tigers however would should intensity and heart, playing hard to hold onto their lead. With 7:07 to go, the Tigers held a 78-67 lead. Javonte Smart would make a driving layup off of a Bama turnover at the 4:19 mark to put the lead at 84-71. Both teams would trade scorless possession until Emmitt Williams' monster dunk with exactly two minutes left. LSU continued to play inspiring defense for the final two minutes. Trendon Watford who add the last four points for the Tigers on driving baskets at the 1:21 mark, then again with 40 seconds to go. Bama's Shakelford would hit a shot from the arc with 31 seconds left, and then LSU double dribble out the clock for a huge 90-76 victory...
Emmitt Wiiliams would lead the Tigers in scoring as he put up a double-double on the night with 23 points & 11 rebounds. Skylar Mays (18 points) & Trendon Watford (double-double, 17 points & 15 rebounds), both had a huge second half, helping pace the Tigers to the win. LSU shot the ball well in the contest going, 34-67 for 50.7%. They were also solid at the free throw line hitting 19-20 for 95%. LSU out rebounded the Tide, 49 to 31. However the Tigers continue to struggle from the arc, as they could only hit 3-16 from three point land in the game. and turned the ball over 14 times. Jaden Stackelford finished with 21 points to lead the Alabama, while Alex Reese added 17 for the 12-8 (4-2 in the SEC) Crimson Tide.
Next up for LSU, a home date with Ole Miss on Saturday at 11:00am. The Tigers defeated the Rebels earlier this season in Oxford, 80-76.
LSU vs. Alabama Press Conference
January 29, 2020
Head Coach Will Wade Opening statement…
“First off, I thought the students were great, the crowd was great – especially for a 6 o’clock tip. I thought it filled in and the students and crowd gave us a huge, huge lift. We played well. I thought it was one of our better games of the year. I don’t think the lead ever got below nine in the second half. Give Alabama credit in the second half. The first half they played bigger against us and were trying to keep us off the glass. We did a great job on the offensive glass in the first half and they just said, alright we’re going to scrap that and play smaller, play our better offensive lineup, spread them and drive them. We got enough stops and were able to keep a working margin most of the game. I thought our offense was efficient and well run. We had couple little sequences where we took too many threes. One in the first half, one in the second half where we just got trigger happy from three. That hurt us. (Darius) Days got us off to a great start. Trendon Watford did a great job on the glass and finishing around the rim. Emmitt (Williams) was an absolute monster. Javonte (Smart) and Skylar (Mays) did what they do. Marlon (Taylor) came in and got some big offensive rebounds, made some big free throws. I thought Aundre Hyatt played great. The tip dunk off the missed lay-in. The tip-in at the end of the first half was big. He had some big time, big time deflections. He got his hands on a ton of balls and got a lot of deflections. I’m very, very proud of how he played. He’s coming on and playing well for us.”
On Alabama cutting the lead to nine in the second half and how the team responded…
"I thought we did a much better job sticking to what we were doing, moving the ball side to side, getting the ball on the backboard. I think of our 13 turnovers, five of them were charges and one of them was a base line out of bounds (five-second violation) where we can at least set our defense. At least in those we’re not giving up a bunch of live-ball turnovers. We only had the one bad live-ball turnover against the press. They ran through one early in the game on a cross-court pass. I thought overall we played better and played well in the second half and played well to have a working margin.”
On Emmitt Williams being able to get going early on…
“It was huge. He made some huge plays at the beginning of the game. He did a good job of establishing us on the glass and making sure we stayed on the glass and got on the glass. He had some huge baskets for us in the second half. A lot of times in the first half he caught it on the roll or on the defense and things like that. In the second half he had a lot of back to the basket post moves that were huge baskets for us and huge buckets for us. He played really, really well. Our team certainly feeds off his energy. I think the crowd feeds off his energy. He’s got a magnetic personality and people enjoy being around him. He’s got a really good energy to him.”
LSU Forward Trendon Watford On defeating Alabama…
"Before the game, Coach (Will) Wade came up to me and told me to just let the game come to me. That’s what I did. I didn’t try to press anything.”
On feeding off big plays in the game…
“I would say (big plays) definitely loosens it up for all of us. That is why we have the big lineup we have of me at the three and (Darius) Days at the four and Emmitt (Williams) at the five. We use that to our advantage and just try to crash the offensive glass and box out on the defensive end. I think that is definitely an advantage for us.”
LSU Guard Skylar Mays On more intensity in practice…
“That is just how it is. We embrace it. It just makes us play harder. We definitely took some steps today as far as closing games. I think we did a good job of that today.”
On the mindset at halftime…
“We showed growth today. We still didn’t play our best half. I think (Alabama) might have won the second half, but that’s definitely different from what it has been in the past. We took steps forward and that is something to be proud of.”
On not allowing Alabama to come back…
“We stuck to the game plan. Especially, (Emmitt and Trendon) doing a great job on the offensive glass and getting us extra possessions to take time off the clock. We did a great job of not letting the scoreboard dictate how hard we were competing.”
LSU Forward Emmitt Williams On feeding off big plays in the game…
“I just tell the team to shoot the ball and I try to get it off the glass. I love it. I just tell them to shoot it and I get the rebound.”
By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!