BATON ROUGE - The LSU Tigers led wire-to-wire against Alabama Saturday night at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center to win for a second time at home against a team that had scored an earlier win as LSU defeated the Crimson Tide, 67-58.
LSU is now 14-10 and 4-6 in the SEC, while Alabama is now 16-8 and 5-5 in the league. The Crimson Tide, already down a player because of a suspension before the team's game Tuesday at Auburn, lost three more key starters who were announced as out of the game late in the afternoon for "violation of team rules."
LSU jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first two minutes and had a double figure lead for the first time at 21-11 with 6:51 to go in the first half, The Tigers had a 31-15 advantage at the half, holding Alabama to the sixth lowest total for an opponent in the first half.
But Alabama regrouped and came out the second half with a new aggression led by Rodney Cooper who had six points in the first half. Cooper, 3-of-10 in the first 20 minutes, made 7-of-9 shots in the second half and finished with 28 points and five steals for the Tide.
Alabama ran off 12 points of the half to cut the LSU lead to four, 31-27, in the first five minutes of the second half as LSU came out a little shaky and unable to get the offensive going again. Twice, the Tide cut the margin to three, the last at 42-39, at the 11:25 mark.
From there Justin Hamilton and Johnny O'Bryant III pushed the team forward and LSU was able to stay up in the 6-11 point range the rest of the way to get the win, running its SEC record to 4-1 this season at the PMAC.
Hamilton made 9-of-12 field goals and finished with 21 points, while O'Bryant just missed a double double with 17 points and nine rebounds. Andre Stringer was also back in double figures with 15 points. Also in double figures for Alabama was Nick Jacobs with 14.
LSU shot 49 percent for the game (24-49), including 13-of-23 in the second half (56.5 percent). LSU for the second straight game was good at the free throw line, hitting 17-of-21. LSU out rebounded Vandy, 34-27.
The Tigers come back on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. to host Mississippi State, looking to win over another team that beat them on the road in January.