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LSU gets big game from 'Big Baby' but fall in SEC opener

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- Alabama didn't have any problems
digesting a helping of "humble pie" or shutting down LSU's
shooters.

Richard Hendrix scored 18 points and the Crimson
Tide (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today; No. 14 AP) took advantage of cold shooting by the Tigers (No. 18 ESPN/USA Today; No. 13 AP) for
a 71-61 victory on Tuesday night, brushing off a 27-point loss at
Arkansas three days earlier.

"I'm really proud of our guys, because I think after we had our
slice of humble pie it would have been easy to pout and mope and
get down a little bit," Tide coach Mark Gottfried said of
Saturday's 88-61 loss. "And they didn't."

The Tide (14-2, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) held the Tigers to
36 percent shooting, led by nine points at halftime and withstood a
couple of short-lived rallies.

LSU (11-4), playing in its SEC opener, had a five-game winning
streak snapped despite a big performance from an ailing Glen Davis.

Playing with sore ribs and right knee from a two-car accident
after Saturday night's win over No. 24 Connecticut, Davis had 24
points and 17 rebounds.

He clutched his side in pain frequently during the game and
stayed on the floor for several seconds at one point after a foul.

"Finish the game, that's all I was thinking," Davis said.
"Things happen. When something happens like that, you have to
overcome. It just takes a lot of character go out there and finish
a game even when you're mentally and physically beat up. I'm not a
quitter, I'm a competitor."

He got no argument from his Alabama counterpart.

"I didn't notice a change," Jermareo Davidson said. "He
played a pretty good game."

Alonzo Gee scored 15 points, all in the first half, for Alabama
and was 4-of-7 from 3-point range. Davidson had 12 points and 12
rebounds for the Crimson Tide and Mykal Riley added 12 points.

Tasmin Mitchell scored 19 points for the Tigers. He and Davis
combined to go 17-of-34 from the field while the rest of the LSU
team was 8-of-36.

"I'm disappointed a little bit in my inability to give our team
what they needed to win," Tigers coach John Brady said. "That
game was there for us to win tonight. We didn't seize some of the
opportunities we had. Everything looks a little worse when you
don't make open shots."

LSU cut it to 37-33 early in the second half, but Hendrix scored
the Tide's next seven points and Ronald Steele added a 3-pointer to
make it 47-36 with 15 minutes left.

"The ball was coming to me," Hendrix said. "The coach was
emphasizing getting the ball to me in the post, and I just went to
work.

"In the first half, Alonzo got hot. He came out hitting a lot
of shots from the outside. In the second half, we kind of changed
our tone a little bit, pounding it inside."

The Tigers had their chances late, cutting it to seven points
twice in the final 2 minutes. But Riley hit two free throws with
1:18 left and Hollinger made one more and the Tigers couldn't
muster any run with only Davis and Mitchell scoring.

"I thought we got good enough shots that if we hit just an
average percentage, not even 50 percent, we could have won the
game," Brady said.

The Tide used a 27-6 run to build a 14-point lead late in the
first half. Gee hit two 3-pointers and a fast-break dunk during a
2-minute span in that stretch. Brandon Hollinger capped it with a 3
and a fast-break layup off a long pass from Steele for a 33-19
lead.

Davis finished strong in the final 49 seconds of the half to cut
the deficit to 35-26. He banked in a 3-pointer and then had a
putback for a double-double before the break.

New Tide football coach Nick Saban was greeted by a standing
ovation at halftime, presenting a $100,000 check to a university
scholarship fund for students who are the first in their family to
attend college.