Hendrix leads Alabama past LSU, 81-72
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP)—Richard Hendrix had 19 points and 17 rebounds and Alabama beat LSU 81-72 on Saturday in a battle of teams tied for last in the Southeastern Conference Western Division.
The Crimson Tide (13-9, 2-5 Southeastern Conference) scored the final six points to hold off a last rally attempt, including a pair of dunks and four straight free throws over the final 37 seconds.
Hendrix heaved a long inbounds pass to Alonzo Gee for a breakaway dunk to give Alabama a 75-69 lead, but 6-foot-11 Chris Johnson answered with a quick 3-pointer for LSU (8-13, 1-6) with 33 seconds left.
Once again, the Tide took it straight to the basket. Hendrix dunked off a pass from Senario Hillman with 24 seconds to play. Hillman stole the ball from Marcus Thornton and hit two free throws to seal the win.
Mykal Riley had 16 of his 19 points in the first half for Alabama but picked up his fourth foul with 17 minutes left. Gee finished with 15 points and Brandon Hollinger added 10. Hendrix and Hillman each had four of the Tide’s 12 steals.
Thornton had 22 points for his sixth straight game scoring at least 20. He made only 7-of-19 shots after pouring in 38 points Wednesday night against Auburn, the highest total in an SEC matchup in 13 years. That gave LSU its first league win.
Anthony Randolph added 13 points and 12 rebounds while Chris Johnson also had 13 points and Terry Martin added 12.
LSU kept it close by hitting 21-of-22 free throw attempts to overcome 37 percent shooting.
The Tigers trailed by eight points at halftime and took their first lead of the game on Thornton’s 3-pointer with 14 minutes to play, at 48-46. They opened the second half on a 13-3 run.
After Riley went to the bench with his fourth foul on a scramble for a loose ball, Alabama went more than 4 minutes without scoring.
The Tide rebuilt its lead to nine points, but LSU closed to within four points four times after that. Hollinger’s 3-pointer from the top of the key with 2:09 left pushed it back to eight.