Obasohan scores career-high 35, Alabama beats LSU, 76-69


B. Simmons made Dunk. Assisted by C. Victor II.

1H (18:15) LSU Ben Simmons made Dunk. Assisted by Craig Victor II.

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Retin Obasohan's career night kept the Crimson Tide rolling through a pivotal portion of its Southeastern Conference schedule.

Obasohan scored a career-high 35 points and Alabama beat LSU 76-69 for the Tide's fifth straight victory on Wednesday night.

"He looked like one of the best players in the country," first-year Alabama coach Avery Johnson said of his senior guard. "He's definitely one of the most improved players in college basketball."

Justin Coleman hit five 3-pointers and finished with 21 points for Alabama (16-9, 7-6 Southeastern Conference), which combined for 11 3-pointers as a team.

"We had some great `layup' looks on those 3s. And for us to really continue to get better, we've got to take them and make them," said Johnson, whose team shot 33 times from long range. "I told the guys, `Do not stop shooting 3s,' which sometimes shocks them. I've evolved as a coach, too, you know, trying to give our guys confidence."

Arthur Edwards, who hit four 3s, scored 12 points for the Crimson Tide. Riley Norris grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds for Alabama, which outrebounded LSU 39-34.

Ben Simmons had 20 points and 10 rebounds for LSU (16-10, 9-4), which lost its first SEC home game this season after winning its first six against league opponents in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Simmons also had two steals, but turned the ball over three times and missed nine of 19 free throws.

"I was trying to get to the line," said Simmons, who walked back out into the empty stadium to practice free throws after the game. "I need to concentrate a little bit more when I get to the line, take my time and stop rushing my free throws. We got a lot of attempts. We obviously didn't convert them, but that's the game right there."

Craig Victor scored 21 points before fouling out in the final minute. He played critical minutes down the stretch with four fouls.

"It limited me a lot," Victor said. "Some of the calls, I think, weren't fouls. ... All I know is that (Alabama) played better down the stretch."

Keith Hornsby added 18 points for the Tigers.



Alabama: Obasohan now has 1,014 points in his career, making him the 49th player to score 1,000 points for the Crimson Tide. He has scored 20 or more 11 times this season. ... Alabama has played in 16 games decided by 10 or fewer points, with a record of 11-5 in those games.

LSU: Victor scored 14 of his points in the first half, after which the Tigers led 36-31. ... LSU lost for the first time in four meetings in the series. ... The Tigers won the only other meeting this season, a 72-70 victory at Alabama on Jan. 23.


Alabama was the more accurate team, shooting 46.3 percent (25 of 54) from the field and 83.3 percent (15 of 18) on free throws. LSU shot 38.6 percent (22 of 57) from the floor and 57.1 percent (20-35) on foul shots. LSU also made only five of 20 3-point shots.


Johnson said his team's increasingly poised play down the stretch of tight games "blows my mind."

The Tigers led 46-38 after Tim Quarterman's 3, but Alabama responded with a 13-2 run that included two 3s by Coleman -- one while he was fouled -- and a 3-pointer each by Obasohan and Edwards.

Edwards' 3 put Alabama in front 51-48, and the Crimson Tide bench was in a frenzy as the crowd groaned.

LSU briefly led 53-51 after Hornsby's free throws, but Obasohan tied it with a jumper and Alabama held a slim lead for most of the final 10 minutes before going on a 9-1 run, capped by Obasohan's jumper, which made it 71-63 with 1:28 left and sent many fans toward the exits.

"We've come a long way. We don't have four (future) pros on our team," Johnson said. "When we first got together, I didn't know this was going to be our M.O."


Johnson, who grew up in New Orleans and played in college for Southern in Baton Rouge, said he was able to spend enjoyable time with family on his visit to Louisiana, but wasn't in much of a mood to celebrate after the game. That's because he was scheduled to attend a funeral Thursday for Oklahoma City Thunder assistant coach Monty Williams' wife, Ingrid, who was fatally injured in a car accident last week.


Alabama: Hosts Mississippi State on Saturday.

LSU: Visits Tennessee on Saturday.