Scores

Final

Alabama 66

(8-4, 0-1 SEC)

LSU 70

(11-1, 2-0 SEC)

    3:00 PM ET, January 10, 2004

    Pete Maravich Assembly Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

    1 2 T
    ALA 29 3766
    LSU 30 4070

    LSU 70, Alabama 66

    BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- LSU needed a big rally in the final minutes to continue one of the Tigers' best starts to a season in nearly a decade.

    Darrel Mitchell tied a career high with 19 points as LSU erased a 10-point deficit in the last five minutes to defeat Alabama 70-66 on Saturday.

    "I was proud of our guys, because we had some things not go right for us," LSU coach John Brady said. "It was one of those days where we refused to lose and were able to gut out the win."

    The Tigers (11-1, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) outscored the Crimson Tide 20-6 over the final five minutes to gain their first 2-0 start in conference play since 1995.

    Mitchell scored 14 of his 19 points in the second half as the Tigers overcame 13 missed free throws and 40.4 percent shooting.

    LSU, which trailed 60-50 with 5:17 left, started its comeback with four free throws, and then got back-to-back 3-pointers from Mitchell, the second from 25 feet away, to tie the score with three minutes left.

    The Tigers then took the lead for the first time since the early stages of the second half on Jaime Lloreda's layup.

    "You can't win on talent alone," Brady said. "The biggest thing with this team is we have to be able to execute in critical moments of the game to win the game."

    The Crimson Tide (8-4, 0-1) tied the game on two free throws from Earnest Shelton and then reclaimed the lead on Kennedy Winston's 14-foot jumper with 1:12 left.

    But LSU grabbed the lead for good seconds later when Antonio Hudson drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key, and the Tigers hit five of eight free throws after that.

    Tack Minor, Brandon Bass and Lloreda each scored 12 points for LSU. Hudson finished with 13 points.

    Trailing 36-33 three minutes into the second half, Alabama went on a 10-0 run to take a 43-36 lead on Shelton's three-point play.

    The Tide stretched its lead to as much as 57-45 with 6:37 left on Winston's jumper.

    "When you're up by 12 with that much time left, it's going to hurt a little," Alabama coach Mark Gottfried said. "We made some mental mistakes and poor decisions late in the game. We have to teach them how to be better at that point in the game. That's my job."

    Winston scored 15 points, while Chuck Davis added 13 to pace Alabama. Emmett Thomas scored 11 points and Shelton 10 for the Tide.

    Alabama attempted just nine free throws, compared to 36 for LSU and was outscored 23-6 from the line.

    In the opening half, Alabama led 24-17 before LSU erased its deficit with a 7-0 run. LSU grabbed a 30-29 advantage at halftime after Minor hit a 28-foot jump shot with time winding down.

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    2003-04 Season

    DATEGAMELINKS
    » Jan 10, 2004 @LSU 70, ALA 66Recap
    Jan 31, 2004 LSU 60, @ALA 54Recap