By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
Tuscaloosa, Al:: The Tigers would go into Tuscaloosa on Wednesday night hoping to gain some revenge against Alabama after being embarrassed by the Tide in Baton Rouge two weeks ago, 105-75. It was not to be as LSU would suffer their second blowout loss of the season to the Crimson Tide, 78-60.
The Tigers actually played a competitive first half as both teams would play solid defense throughout the first 20 minutes.
At the ten minute mark Bama would cling to a 20-16 lead as they would struggle to hit from three point range, forcing the Tide take the ball inside. This would allow LSU to keep pace with the 10th ranked team in the country. But it wouldn't take long for Alabama to shift into another gear, extending their lead to double digits as they would go ahead 28-18 at the 7:17 mark.
LSU would battle back scoring the final four points of the first half on two Cam Thomas free throws and a
Javonte Smart jumper to cut the lead to six, 36-30 Bama at the half.
After both teams would score quickly to start the second half, Bama leading 38-32 with 19:14 on the clock would go on a 16-2 run over the next six minutes.
Trailing 54-34, LSU would begin to panic offensively as things would go from bad to worse. They would begin throw up bad desperation shots, hoping for prayers to fall to chip into the lead. Not only would those prayers go unanswered, but their lack of poise and focus showed as they would even struggle to score down low under the basket.
Meanwhile the Tide made it look very easy practically scoring at will against a lifeless effort on defense by the Tigers. Bama got the rolls, the bounces, and the tip in's as they dominated LSU on the boards all game long. No matter what Will Wade would try, they just couldn't stop the bleeding. It would take all the Tigers had to fight, scratch, and claw to stay within twenty points.
Cam Thomas would lead the Tigers in scoring with 22 points, while Javonte Smart would finish with 14 points. Once again both Thomas and Smart would have to carry the team offensively with little to no scoring production from anyone else. Will Wade needs to find another scorer to step up if things are to turn around. LSU finished the game shooting only 20-65 from the floor for a dismal 31%. .. 4-17 from the three point arc for 24%. .... and a weak 16-22 from the free throw line for 73%.... Rebounding continues to be a huge issue with this team as Bama out-rebounded them 51-35.
Defensively the Tigers seemed to play with no energy as Bama would score 52 points in the paint. Countless times LSU players would stand flat-footed as a Crimson Tide player would blow by them to the basket for an easy score.
I still believe in Will Wade and this LSU team. After some deep soul-searching I hope they can turn things around and raise their level of play in this final month of the regular season. The opportunity for important quality wins are starring the Tigers right in the face with Florida, Tennessee, and Auburn up next.
With the loss LSU is now 11-6 overall and 6-4 in the SEC.
Up next the Tigers will host #22 Florida in the PMAC on Saturday, Feb. 6th at 1pm.
Photos Below By: LSU/SEC