In the battle of perhaps the SEC’s best two freshman point guards, LSU and Tremont Waters couldn’t handle Alabama and Collin Sexton.
The Tigers struggled from the floor against the Crimson Tide’s length throughout the night and Alabama rolled to a 74-66 victory in front of a sold-out crowd at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on Saturday night.
Sexton wasn’t the leading scorer but his teammates picked up the slack and Alabama’s defense suffocated the Tigers as LSU shot just 21-of-52 from the field (40.4 percent) and finished with 14 turnovers. The Tigers also shot 7-of-25 from 3-point range.
The Crimson Tide also finished with a 40-24 rebounding edge limiting LSU to just five offensive boards and six second-chance points.
Alabama tried to pull away after taking a 15-point lead with 7:31 to go but LSU was able to cut the lead down to single digits as the PMAC crowd tried to keep the Tigers in the game.
LSU cut the lead to five points on a Waters 3-pointer with 1:11 to play but as soon as Waters’ 3-pointer went through the net, LSU coach Will Wade was called for a technical foul.
The Tigers eventually cut the lead to four points with 8.9 to play but Waters was called for an intentional foul and Alabama hit four throws to end the game.
The Crimson Tide rolled out a starting lineup that featured the 6-foot-3 Sexton along with players who were 6-5, 6-7, 6-8 and 6-11 but often times Waters and Mays had to deal with defenders who were much taller and longer.
It gave both point guards problems although both protected the ball well, finishing with one turnover each. But in the paint, Duop Reath and Aaron Epps had trouble scoring inside and LSU finished with just 24 points in the paint.
Waters finished as the leading scorer with 19 points and added five assists, three rebounds and three steals on 5-of-13 shooting while going 3-of-9 from deep and 6-of-8 from the line.
Sexton finished with 15 points but struggled mightily from the floor going 4-of-16 overall and 1-of-5 from deep. He made all six free throws and also had seven rebounds, three assists and nine turnovers.
Sold out: LSU announced the attendance at 13,600 fans on Saturday, the eighth-largest crowd since the school reconfigured the PMAC prior to the 2005-06 season. It was the first sellout since the 2015-16 season when Ben Simmons was still prowling the arena.
With a new updated total of 13,600, this sell out is now the fifth-largest crowd since 2005-06#LSU pic.twitter.com/4mIDkgzaux
— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) January 14, 2018
Football visitors: LSU had a slew of football players in the house for the game with the school’s four official visitors for the weekend – Rummel wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, Lanier (Ala.) quarterback James Foster, American Heritage (Fla.) cornerback Patrick Surtain Jr. and Lee’s Summit (Mo.) defensive back Mario Goodrich.
Among the current LSU players spotted: linebacker Devin White, cornerback Kristian Fulton, offensive lineman Saahdiq…