BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (Ticker) -- Louisiana State and Ross Kneltner kept Alabama from celebrating and made a big impression on the NCAA Tournament selection committee.
Kneltner's follow shot at the buzzer gave the Tigers a 61-59 victory against the 14th-ranked Crimson Tide, looking to clinch the Southeastern Conference West Division championship.
"I think we were all just kind of hectic out there," Kneltner said. "Brandon obviously caught it in the corner. I thought his shot was going in. I just ended up in the right place at the right time, and the shot went in and we beat the No. 14 team in the nation."
The win was the third straight for LSU, its second straight against a ranked foe and pushed the Tigers' record to 9-4 in conference games - one game behind the Crimson Tide.
Holding LSU without a field goal for 6 1/2 minutes, Alabama came back from a 55-48 deficit and tied the score at 59-59 when Kennedy Winston banked in a 3-pointer with 13 seconds left. The Tigers' Brandon Bass missed an off-balance 12-foot jumper but Kneltner rushed in from the baseline and tipped the ball off the glass as the horn sounded and the fans at the Pete Maravich Center rushed the court.
"It all happened so fast," Kneltner added. "All of a sudden the buzzer's going off, the shot's going in and I'm on the ground with my teammates piling on top. But that was just one play in the game. It took 40 minutes of basketball to beat these guys. They're a good team and it's a good win for our program."
Tack Minor had 16 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for LSU (16-8, 9-4 SEC West), which may have fortified a slot in the NCAA Tournament with this triumph.
Alabama shot 50 percent in this one and committed just six turnovers, but it was outrebounded by a 46-27 margin. Tigers' freshman Glen Davis had seven of his 13 rebounds on the offensive glass and added 11 points, and Bass added 15 points and nine boards for the Tigers, who shot 40 percent (21-of-53) and committed 15 turnovers.
"To Alabama's credit, they have some experienced guys and they haven't won 10 out of 11 games in this league because they crumble under adverse conditions," LSU coach John Brady said. "I thought the key to us was how we defended them. ... They're outrebounding their opponents by 10 or so in league play. To get 46 rebounds to their 27 was really the difference in the game."
Winston, who scored a game-high 21 points in a 73-58 victory in the first contest between the schools this season, was the offense for the Crimson Tide (21-5, 10-3 West) in this one, scoring 22, including six in the final 2:48 to lead the comeback. But Earnest Shelton, who scored 19 on 7-of-11 in the first game, was limited to six on 2-of-9 shooting.
"I just want to compliment Alabama's team," said LSU coach John Brady.
After missing its first shot of the game, LSU hit its next seven for an 18-5 lead 4 1/2 minutes in. Minor and Darrel Mitchell, who finished with 13 points, had seven points apiece in the blitz.
"I thought we started the game just exceptionally well," Brady said. "I knew we were ready to play (Monday) in the practice. That's why we cut it - I didn't want to leave any of our game on the practice floor."
But Alabama fought back and drew even at 28-28 on an 11-2 run highlighted by seven points by Winston before Bass scored on a layup with one second left to give the Tigers a 30-28 lead at the break.
After intermission, neither team led by more than two points for the first 10 minutes before Minor and Mitchell hit consecutive 3-pointers to lift the Tigers to a 47-44 lead. Kennedy responded with a 3-pointer before Davis hit two free throws and Kneltner drained a shot from the arc for a 52-46 lead with eight minutes remaining.