Alabama Men’s Basketball Loses on Final Possession to LSU, 72-70
The Alabama men’s basketball team lost in the final seconds to LSU, 72-70, on Saturday in front of a sold out crowd at Coleman Coliseum. Senior guard Retin Obasohan finished 20 points, but his final layup to tie the game came up short.
“I am proud of our team tonight,” head coach Avery Johnson said. “I thought we gave a maximum effort. They were emotionally into the game. We executed our game plan, but unfortunately we caught a couple of bad breaks there at the end. There was an offensive rebound by [Tim] Quarterman, what a great defensive stop, but we didn’t get the rebound. We missed free throws here and there and a little bit of poor execution when we needed it there at the end of the game.”
With the scored tied at 70 apiece, Tim Quarterman made a put-back layup to give LSU (12-7, 5-2 SEC) a two-point lead with 33.7 seconds on the clock. Obasohan missed his first attempt at a game-tying layup, but created a tie-up with the LSU defenders to force a jump ball and keep the ball from alternating possession with 17.1 seconds left. After a timeout, Obasohan had a second chance to send the game to overtime, but his shot missed and the Tigers secured the rebound.
Obasohan also added five rebounds and a team-leading four assists to his 20-point total. It was his team-leading seventh 20-point performance on the season, all of which have come in the last 12 games. Edwards matched his career high with 17 points, while Norris finished with his third career double-double, recording 10 points and a team-leading 10 rebounds.
“We won our share of close games this year, unfortunately we did not win this one. But I am just proud of our team. There is no surrender in us. We are going to get back to work [Sunday] and play with a lot of energy on Tuesday night, especially feeding off such a great crowd that we had tonight. I am really proud of our guys and they are going to win some more of these close games and I am going to make sure I do a better job of helping them in those situations.”
Alabama (10-8, 1-5 SEC) finished the first half on a 22-9 run over the last eight-plus minutes to take a 41-36 lead to the locker room. Arthur Edwards scored seven points over the run and finished the half with 14.
Midway through the second half, the Tide took a 60-54 lead, its largest of the contest, with 9:59 left to play. The Tigers immediately answered with a 6-0 run to tie the game, and the teams were never separated by more than three points again. The game featured six ties and 11 lead changes. Alabama dropped its first one possession game this season (3-1) and is now 4-2 in games decided by four points or less.
Alabama lost the rebounding battle, but blocked seven shots. The Tide faltered late, shooting just 39 percent from the field in the second half. Obasohan, Edwards and Riley Norris combined to shoot 53 percent from the field, compared to 29 percent for the rest of the team.
The loss snaps Alabama’s 10-game home winning streak against LSU, which dated back to a 60-54 defeat to the Tigers on Jan. 31, 2004.
Ben Simmons led LSU with 23 points while adding eight rebounds and five assists. Quarterman finished with a team-high nine boards to go along with 11 points off the bench.
Alabama will next be in action when it takes on Tennessee in Tuscaloosa on Tuesday, Jan. 26. The Tide and Volunteers will tip off at 8 p.m. CT on SEC Network.