LSU (19-12, 9-9) was the beneficiary of a balanced scoring display, including five players with at least nine points. Two unusual suspects – freshman guard Tim Quarterman, a Georgia native, and senior wing Shavon Coleman – got in on the act, stealing the show with 12 and 15 points, respectively.
"I was just trying to get my team a spark off the bench," Quarterman said after the game. "When I got in the game, I got a quick lay-up, and it's always good when your first shot goes down. That just got me started, and I hit a three after that. I just wanted to get my team pumped up."
Johnny Jones' squad fell behind 5-0 to start the game before answering the Crimson Tide hot start, eventually staked to a 35-24 halftime lead after a combined 18 first-half points from Coleman and Quarterman.
The Bayou Bengals never looked back.
Alabama did rattle off the opening five points of the second half, too, but LSU quickly stabilized its double-digit lead. Every time the Tide cut the margin to six or seven, the Tigers fired back, keeping Anthony Grant's team at arm's length.
"We did a great job of playing team defense," O'Bryant remarked in postgame interviews. "We talked, we helped, we rotated. We did everything we should've been doing from the start of the season."
Freshman Shannon Hale and senior Trevor Releford, playing his final game in the crimson and cream, led the way for Alabama with 11 points apiece.
With the win LSU advances to the quarterfinals Saturday, when the Tigers will take on second-seeded Kentucky at 7 p.m. ET.