The “Cardiac Cats” took a game off Wednesday night and cruised to a 90-76 victory over Alabama.
For the first time in weeks, the Tigers won a game comfortably, holding an 18 point lead at halftime and never letting up. The Tigers also snapped Alabama’s four game win streak.
“I though this was one of our better games of the year,” said LSU coach Will Wade. “ I don’t think the lead ever got below nine in the second half. Give Alabama credit in the second half. The first half they played bigger against us and were trying to keep us off the glass. We did a great job on the offensive glass in the first half and they just said, alright we’re going to scrap that and play smaller, play our better offensive lineup, spread them and drive them.”
Within in the last 10 minutes of the first half, LSU went on a 20-4 run to lead 51-33 at halftime. LSU’s lead never got below nine points in the second half.
Emmitt Williams played like his life depended on it, putting up 17 points in the first half alone. The sophomore forward’s final line was 23 points on 8-for-12 shooting and 11 rebounds.
“He’s our enforcer,” senior guard Skylar Mays said of Williams. “He’s our anchor on defense. He’s our most vocal guy. He’s the back line. He’s an integral part of the reason we’re on a nine game winning streak. That’s something we can bank on every game.”
Freshman and Alabama native Trendon Watford notched a double-double of his own with 17 points and 15 rebounds.
“It did (mean a little more) to me,” Watford said. “Before the game, Coach (Will) Wade came up to me and told me to just let the game come to me. That’s what I did. I didn’t try to press anything.”
LSU dominated Alabama for much of the game, especially on the boards where the Tigers out-rebounded the Tide 49-31.
LSU coach Will Wade has been vocal about his displeasure with his team’s play in recent weeks and their propensity to blow leads despite coming out with wins. Mays — who had 18 points on the night — said the practices mirrored Wade’s attitude.
“We definitely took some steps today as far as closing games,” Mays said. “I think we did a good job of that today.”
The Tigers defense also stepped up big, limiting Alabama guard John Petty Jr. to just four points on 1-for-7 shooting and forced nine turnovers.
“I thought we did a much better job sticking to what we were doing, moving the ball side to side, getting the ball on the backboard,” Wade said. “I thought overall we played better and played well in the second half and played well to have a working margin.”