Alabama basketball needed a response after Wednesday. The season wasn’t spiraling, and NCAA Tournament hopes weren’t doomed, but the way the loss to Auburn went made it to where a good palette cleanser would be welcomed vs. LSU.
Another 100-point game vs. LSU did the trick. Defense was an issue at times, but the Crimson Tide’s offense proved electric in a 109-92 victory over the Tigers on Saturday.
With the win, Alabama swept the regular-season series vs. LSU.
Here are observations and takeaways from the game between No. 16 Alabama (17-7, 9-2 SEC) and LSU (12-11, 4-6).
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Offensive showdown in first half for Alabama basketball
Anyone who likes a good defense battle might have been nauseated watching the first half, and truthfully, most of the game.
Both Alabama and LSU scored often and a lot. Both averaged about 1.3 points per possession before halftime, a clip that signaled plenty of scoring and not enough defense.
The Crimson Tide especially had trouble limiting Will Baker. In the first half alone, he scored 22 points as he made 9 of 12 shots (2 of 3 from deep) to go with two free throws while grabbing three boards. He darn near scored at will.
But Alabama kept pace and then some, leading 49-46 at halftime. That was large part in thanks to draining triples. The Crimson Tide tallied nine 3-pointers before intermission, with Mark Sears knocking down two and Latrell Wrightsell making three. Nick Pringle was also a key piece early with an efficient nine points in eight minutes. He also grabbed three boards and had an assist.
Despite the strong start offensively, Alabama finished the first half 1-for-10, allowing LSU to draw close to a lead that reached 47-37 at one point.
Latrell Wrightsell Jr. clutch from deep and has double-double
When Alabama needed plays, Wrightsell frequently obliged. Particularly late.
Alabama jumped out to a double-digit lead in the second half, but the Tigers found a way to close the gap and actually take the lead with 9:06 left, going up 73-72.
Then Alabama went to work. Soon, the Crimson Tide took an 82-75 lead after Wrightsell hit a triple. He wasn’t done yet either. Wrightsell hit another triple with 5:03 left to put Alabama up 93-82.
Wrightsell finished the day with 21 points as he shot 6 of 9 from deep. He also grabbed 10 rebounds and had four assists.
The Crimson Tide will have a week off with no game until next Saturday when it faces Texas A&M at Coleman Coliseum. It’s the first of two consecutive home games; Alabama will then face Florida on Wednesday, Feb. 21.
After those two games, the Crimson Tide will be on the road for two straight games with games against Kentucky and Ole Miss.
Nick Kelly is the Alabama beat writer for The Tuscaloosa News, part of the USA TODAY Network, and he covers Alabama football and men’s basketball. Reach him at email@example.com or follow him @_NickKelly on X, the social media app formerly known as Twitter.