The LSU basketball team will ultimately share a lead in the Southeastern Conference standings with just one team after defeating Alabama 74-69 in Tuscaloosa in a Saturday morning matinee.
The Tigers (24-5, 14-2 SEC) staved off the Crimson Tide (17-12, 8-8) in what was a back-and-forth second half despite a strong start on the road for LSU.
LSU led 20-10 in the early minutes of the game, but a six-minute scoring allowed Alabama to crawl its way back into the game, cutting the Tigers’ lead to 29-28 at the halftime break despite shooter worse than 30 percent from the field.
The second half saw multiple shifts in momentum with LSU getting the last despite having four players with four fouls with seven minutes left in the game thank to a run that put the Tigers up by five points in the final minute of the game, allowing them to close it out at the free throw line.
Skylar Mays led the Tigers with 20 points on 6-for-11 shooting. Javonte Smart scored 13 points in the first half to keep LSU afloat and finished the game with 19 points and four assists.
Tremont Waters returned to the lineup after missing two games with an undisclosed illness, and almost immediately hit a 3-pointer upon entering the game from the bench. He finished with five points and three assists.
John Petty led the Tide with 23 points, and Donta Hall contributed a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
The Tigers will get back to action on Wednesday for a rematch with Florida in their penultimate game of the regular season.