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BATON ROUGE, La. – The Alabama men's basketball team fell to the LSU Tigers in triple overtime Saturday afternoon by a score of 97-94 in Baton Rouge, La. Junior guard Trevor Releford led both teams with a career-high 36 points. Alabama goes to 18-9 on the season and 10-4 in Southeastern Conference play. The Crimson Tide is now 10-3 over its last 13 games.
There were 16 lead changes and the score was tied nine times. In addition to Releford, the Tide had three other players, all sophomores, in double-digits. Guard Rodney Cooper had 18, guard Trevor Lacey had 11, and forward Nick Jacobs had 10. It was Cooper’s seventh straight game in which he scored in double-digits.
Releford’s 36 was the most by an Alabama player since Alonzo Gee scored 32 vs. Florida on Jan. 8, 2008. Releford also had three steals, which makes him Alabama’s all-time steals leader with 178 for his career. He passed Senario Hillman who had 176 from 2007-10.
LSU had two players post double-double’s, as forward Johnny O’Bryant III had 24 points and 10 rebounds and guard Charles Carmouche had 20 points and 11 rebounds. It was the first triple-overtime game in the Maravich Center and Alabama’s first since a 102-101 win at Charlotte on Dec. 4, 2004.
Alabama returns to action this Tuesday at home against Auburn. The game will be televised on ESPNU with tipoff set for 6 p.m. CT while the radio broadcast can be heard on the Crimson Tide Radio Network.
Christopher Walsh covers Alabama football for BamaOnline, 247Sports, and is the author of 18 books.
Press conference quotes:
ALABAMA HEAD COACH ANTHONY GRANT
"I thought the game was decided on two areas, rebounding and the free throw line. LSU made the plays they had to make when there were three minutes to play and we had a 10-point lead. We have to rebound the ball and do what got us the lead. Unfortunately that three-minute span was the difference. When you look at the free-throw numbers that tells the story as well. I thought our guys fought and our mindset, coming into the game, was that we would be going into a difficult environment and I thought we fought really hard. That three-minute span was difficult, but in the overtimes I was proud of the way we were able to make plays and how we did the things we needed to do to have a chance. Ultimately, rebounding and the breakdowns cost us today.
On having foul trouble...
"You look at the differential in free-throw line, it's a physical game. I hear everyone asking questions about the physicality of the game in our league or college basketball and it was on display today. We had guys who fouled out and obviously it affects you when you lose guys and have to sit them for fouls but it's a physical game.
On coming back after the loss...
"We are back and they are fine. This is a tough loss and we will be ready to go back on Tuesday."
On the lack of rebounding...
"LSU had a free-throw block out when we were up 10 that we need to come up with that. From that point on, it seemed like every missed shot, they'd get it back. I've got to look back at the film. My expectation is that we get the balls that they came up with. It's a physical game and when you are allowed to be physical than you have to give it back."
G TREVOR RELEFORD
On his career-high performance against LSU...
"It would have probably been better if we would have won."
On LSU's effective defense during the second half...
"I don't think they were doing anything different from what they were doing the whole game. But I had other people on the team to step up and make plays like Rodney (Cooper), Andrew (Steele), and Lacey (Trevor). They stepped up and made plays."
On the frustration of losing in triple overtime...
"It is frustrating right now, but you can't dwell on it too much. You still have a lot to play for. We just have to move on to the next game."
On what the difference of the game was...
"Like Coach (Anthony Grant) said, rebounding, loose balls, and plays like that."
On having a tougher loss than today's against LSU...
"We have had some tough losses, but there's no point to keep talking about losses."
On setting the Alabama's record for steals...
"It is a good accomplishment, but I still give some of the credit to my team for having my back and letting me make plays."
247Sports In partnership with CBS Sports