Tide Tries To Get Back To Winning

The Alabama men's basketball team had its 14-game home court winning streak against Southeastern Conference teams end in a loss to Florida in Coleman Coliseum Thursday night. The Crimson Tide doesn't have much time to lick its wounds, though. Bama goes back to work tonight in Tuscaloosa against LSU.

Alabama is 8-10 overall and 2-3 in Southeastern Conference games and LSU is 12-5 with a 3-2 conference record. Tipoff will be at 7 p.m. CST and the game will be televised by ESPN2.

While Bama may be licking its wounds after the Florida loss, Crimson Tide junior guard Rodney Cooper might be licking his chops thinking about playing against the LSU Tigers. Cooper's career-high scoring total of 28 points came at LSU during his freshman season. In fact, his career best numbers in field goals made (10), field goals attempted (22), three-point shots attempted (9), free throws made (5) and attempted (10), steals (5), and minutes played (42) have all come when facing LSU.

In four career games against the Tigers, Cooper is averaging 14.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, while shooting 43 percent from the floor (22-of-51).

This will be the lone meeting in regular season play this year between the Tide and Tigers. Alabama and LSU will meet for the 171st time in series history – the second-most times UA has played any one opponent in program history. The Tide owns a 102-68 lead in the all-time series. Alabama has won eight straight games over LSU and has a record of 37-8 when playing the Tigers in Coleman Coliseum. The last time the Tide lost to the Tigers at home came on Jan. 31, 2004. Bama Coach Anthony Grant has an all-time record of 6-2 when his team has faced LSU, and is 4-0 when playing LSU in Coleman Coliseum.

There is a definite pattern to Crimson Tide basketball success (and lack thereof) this year. Alabama is a perfect 8-0 when holding opponents 65 or fewer points, but the Tide falls to 0-10 this year when allowing more the 65 points in a game.

There has been no word from Alabama on the status of guard Retin Obasohan, who was held out of the Florida game after having suffered a strained hip flexor in practice earlier this week. Obasohan leads the SEC in steals (2.4 per game) and ranks second in scoring for Bama at 12.2 points per game.

Senior guard Trevor Releford leads the tide in scoring with an average of 18.1 points per game, Releford which ranks seventh in the SEC. He has connected on 50 per cent (104-of-209) of his shots from the floor and a team-best 39.0 percent (41-105) from beyond the three-point arc. He also ranks second in the SEC and 17th nationally with 2.4 steals per game and leads the Tide with 2.9 assists per contest.

Freshman forward Shannon Hale's 12.6 points per game in SEC play ranks sixth among SEC freshmen and 23rd overall, while he also ranks fourth among rookies in field goal percentage in SEC play (.535). Over his last eight games, Hale is second on the team with 11.6 points per game and leads the Tide in rebounding (4.4 rpg) and field goal percentage (.537) over that same span.

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