Tigers fall at 'Bama, 60-57

LSU kept it close on the road at Alabama, but the Tigers fell short for the ninth straight time at Coleman Coliseum.

Alabama used a 14-5 run in the second half to build a double-digit lead, held off a late rally by the LSU men's basketball team and snapped the Tigers' three-game winning streak on Saturday night in Coleman Coliseum, 60-57.

Johnny O'Bryant III led the way for LSU (13-8, 4-6 SEC), scoring a career-best 22 points on 9-of-17 shooting and pulling down 11 rebounds. The rest of the Tigers combined to shoot 30.7 percent from the field (12 of 39), with only three points coming from the bench.

O'Bryant's ninth double double of the season leads the SEC.

Forward Shavon Coleman added 11 points, while Anthony Hickey was held to 4-of-11 shooting and eight points.

Alabama (14-8, 6-3 SEC) allowed LSU to get back in to the game in the closing minutes after making only 4-of-10 free throws in the final 72 seconds. However, the Tide staved off three potential game-tying three pointers in that closing stretch to come away with the victory.

Rodney Cooper led the way for the homestanding Crimson Tide with 15 points, while Trevor Releford added 12. Alabama shot only 35.2 percent from the field (19 of 54), but the Tide got to the line 33 times and made 20. LSU went to the foul line only 14 times, making 11.

After a see-saw first half, Alabama went to the lockerroom ahead 27-21, though neither team shot well in the half.

The Tigers cut the lead to two, 31-29, early in the second half on a layup by Hickey. However, Alabama used a 14-5 run to force an LSU timeout ahead 45-34 with 9:18 to play.

Coming out of the timeout, LSU guard Charles Carmouche scored the Tigers first bench points of the game with a three pointer to pull within eight.

LSU narrowed the gap to five, 50-45, at the 4:40 mark after a jumper by O'Bryant and a pair of free throws by Coleman. LSU starting guard Malik Morgan fouled out on the possession following an Alabama timeout, and the Tide rolled off four-straight points to push its lead back to nine, 54-45.

Tigers guard Andre Stringer hit a three pointer and Coleman added a transition layup to trim the deficit to 54-50. After another LSU timeout saved a would-be turnover, O'Bryant made two free throws and LSU trailed by two.

LSU's press led to an Alabama turnover with 2:23 left, and Coleman converted 1-of-2 free throws with a chance to tie the game.

The Tide made a pair of free throws after an offensive rebound of a missed free throw with 1:14 to play.

Stringer missed a three pointer from the top of the that would have tied the game, and Alabama made two free throwns with 46.4 seconds to play to grab a five-point lead.

Alabama missed two free throws, and O'Bryant took advantage with a dunk off the in-bounds pass to cut the deficit to three, 58-55.

LSU then traded an Alabama free throw for a running jumper by Hickey to get within two, 59-57.

Another free throw miss and a turnover by Alabama gave LSU two chances at three pointers in the final six seconds, but both heaves were missed.

The Tigers return to action on Thursday, Feb. 14, when they travel to Columbia to face South Carolina. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. CT on ESPN2.

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