"If you'd have told me Glen Davis rolled in here and had 24 and 17 I would have told you that would probably be enough to win the game," LSU head coach John Brady said. "Our inability to score from outside 10-12 feet allowed their defense to play from the lane line and the free throw line. I think 24 and 17 is a nice offensive night for Glen and we just need a couple of more offensive players."
Tasmin Mitchell had 19 points on 8 of 18 shooting for LSU (11-4, 0-1 SEC), but no other Bengal Tiger scored more than five, and the other six players who saw time in the game combined for just 18 points.
LSU trailed by as many as 14 points in the first half and took a nine-point deficit into halftime after making just 2 of 9 three point attempts in the first half. LSU made only 3 of 17 (.176 PCT) three pointers in the game.
LSU closed to within four points of Alabama (14-2, 1-1 SEC) early in the second half, but never got closer than seven points after the 12 minute mark in the second half thanks in large part to the poor shooting effort. Aside from Davis' 9 for 16 performance, the rest of the LSU squad was 16 of 54 (.296 PCT) in the game.
"I just think we gave the game away," Davis said. "We had open shots. We just have to hit the shots. That's all it takes. It's going to take some free will, you feel me? I think everybody has to have a reality check and just do what they need to do."
Despite LSU's poor shooting night, the Tigers had more attempts (70-52) and made more shots (25-24) than Alabama, and out-rebounded the Crimson Tide 43-36. Alabama did not put the game away until late, however, and LSU only began fouling to try to make up the deficit with 1:18 on the game clock.
Alabama had four players in double figures, led with 18 points from sophomore forward Richard Hendrix. Hendrix scored 13 of his total in the second half.
"In the second half we kind of changed the tone a little bit pounding it inside and taking advantage of our big guys down low," Hendrix said. "Tonight was one of those nights when the ball came to me. Coach was emphasizing getting it to me and I just went to work."
Senior Alabama forward Jermareo Davidson had 15 points in the game; 11 in the second half and Alabama outscored LSU 34-20 in the paint.
Crimson Tide sophomore Alonzo Gee sparked Alabama in the first half, scoring 11 points on three 3-pointers and a field goal in a five minute span in the middle of the first half giving Alabama its biggest lead of the night. He finished the game with 15, and Mykal Riley scored 12 for Alabama.
Davis, who was injured in an auto accident after Saturday night's LSU-UCONN game, was in obvious pain after hitting the floor in the midst of physical play multiple times in the second half.
"I finished the game," Davis said. "I think when something happened like that you have to overcome. It just takes a lot of character to go out\ there and finish a game even when you're physically and mentally beat up. I'm not a quitter, I'm a competitor."
LSU hosts Auburn in Baton Rouge on Saturday at 2 p.m. in a game scheduled to be televised by Lincoln Financial sports.