Five quick hits from Alabama's 60-57 win over LSU:
1. After having one of its worst performances of the year earlier this week—a 49-37 loss at Auburn—Alabama was able to have a short-term memory and beat LSU Saturday night at home, 60-57.
Like most of the Crimson Tide’s wins, this one wasn’t pretty, as they shot 35.2 percent from the field and went an embarrassing 11.1 perfect from 3-point range. Nick Jacobs led the team with 15 points.
This victory puts Alabama (15-8) at 7-3 in the SEC. They’re tied with Ole Miss for third place.
2. The Tide scored 60 points for first time since Jan. 16 when they beat Mississippi State 75-43. This ended a six-game streak under 60.
“The last four games, we’ve really struggled from an offensive standpoint,” head coach Anthony Grant said. “I think we’re shooting 35 percent from the field, we’re shooting 20-something percent from the 3-point line, we’ve had turnovers, but we’ve managed to win three out of those four games, so I think that says something about who we have in our locker room and their ability to persevere.”
But what, exactly, is the problem with Alabama’s offense?
“We’re just not making shots,” Grant said. “I thought we got good looks…I only ask our guys to take good [shots] and eventually, we’ll make them.”
3. Alabama had nine blocked shots while LSU had none. The only other time the Tide has had that many blocks in conference play this season was against Kentucky a couple weeks ago. Moussa Gueye had four blocks, Nick Jacobs had three and Trevor Lacey and Retin Obasohan each had one.
The Tide also outrebounded the Tigers 43-36, including some key grabs down the stretch by Jacobs.
“I thought our defense won the game for us today,” Grant said. “Our defensive effort never wavered.
4. Jacobs was the player of the game. He led the Tide with 15 points, added five rebounds (four in the second half) and three blocks. He also went 7-8 from the free throw line, four of which came in the final 4:34.
“I thought Nick was huge, especially in the second half,” Grant said. “The ability to go to the line, step up there and make his free throws down the stretch, I thought he took the challenge. Moussa did a good job in the second half defensively until he fouled out. It was great to see Nick come back and battle like he did. He came up with two huge rebounds down the stretch that we had to have.
“When he brings that type of energy and focus, we’re a much better team.”
5. Alabama did make a few crucial free throws down the stretch, but it almost wasn’t enough. The Tide was up by 10 with eight minutes to play when the Tigers started to chip away at the lead. In those final minutes, Bama went 11-19 from the line (20-33 on the night).
”We know we gotta work on that in practice,” said guard Trevor Releford, who had two free throw opportunities down the stretch and missed both. “We gotta take it seriously. In another game, we probably won’t be lucky enough to win and it’ll probably come down to free throws. We gotta take our time and make them.”
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