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Updated: Saturday, February 1, 2003 8:32 PM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(21) Alabama 75, LSU 66
LSU TIGERS
LSU Tigers
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ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE
Alabama Crimson Tide
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TUSCALOOSA, Alabama (Ticker) -- Mo Williams scored 21 of his season-high 27 points in the second half as No. 21 Alabama bolted to an early lead and hung on for a 75-66 triumph over Louisiana State in a Southeastern Conference West Division matchup.

After trailing nearly the entire game, LSU (13-6, 2-5 SEC West) made a late push to pull within 62-53 with 4:27 to go. The Tigers had the ball and a chance to draw closer but a turnover led to a breakaway layup by Williams and the Tigers never got closer than seven the rest of the way.

Kenny Walker had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Erwin Dudley added 14 and nine for Alabama (13-5, 3-4), which rebounded from a loss to Kentucky, a defeat that snapped their school-record 28-game home winning streak.

"Mo Williams, I thought, stepped up and made some big time plays," Alabama coach Mark Gottfried said. "I was really proud of Kenny Walker, I thought he played aggressive around the basket. He's playing hard and that is all you can ask."

"In the past, I didn't think I needed to force up any shots," Williams said. "In order for us to win the game, I figured I had to play good."

Ronald Dupree had 22 points and nine rebounds for LSU, which was without starting forward Jaime Lloreda, who was suspended one game by SEC commissioner Mike Slive for a "flagrant, unsportsmanlike act" committed in the second half of Tuesday's loss to Florida.

Lloreda's presence inside was sorely missed by LSU, which fell behind early and was forced to settle for outside shots most of the way.

LSU has dropped five straight and is 0-4 on the road this season.

"It is all about guarding your man and not letting him score, and until we get that attitude we're going to continue to lose games," Dupree said.

Alabama dominated inside and capitalized on nearly every turnover by LSU en route to a 34-28 halftime edge. Dudley made all four of his shots, scored nine points and grabbed six rebounds in the opening half.

Over the opening 20 minutes, the Crimson Tide held an 18-8 edge in points in the paint and a 15-4 edge in points off turnovers. LSU committed 10 turnovers in the half.

The Tigers also missed seven of eight 3-point attempts in the half. Alabama was just as bad from beyond the arc, making 2-of-16 attempts over the opening 20 minutes.

"We had 10 turnovers in the first half, but those were our fault," LSU coach John Brady said. "They didn't do anything to make us turn the ball over."

LSU scored the first five points of the contest but Alabama used a 23-8 burst to open a double-digit lead. The Tigers never got closer than five the remainder of the first half.

Alabama opened the second half with a 9-2 burst and were ahead 54-36 with 10:58 to go. Freshman Darrel Mitchell hit a 3-pointer and Torris Bright sandwiched a pair of shots from behind the arc around a free throw by the Crimson Tide's Lucky Williams.

But Walker had five of the next seven points to keep Alabama comfortably ahead. The Crimson Tide shot 44 percent (12-of-27) in the second half but finished just 4-of-22 from 3-point range.

"I think we came out and executed what we wanted to do offensively," Gottfried added. "We are still missing shots but we got good looks, better looks. We just need to keep getting better, but I like how we responded."

Alabama has won its last five meetings with LSU and leads the all-time series, 90-59.


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