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LSU guard Jordan Wright (6) holds onto the ball asAlabama guard Mark Sears (1) reaches in the second half on Saturday, February 10, 2024 at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Alabama defeated LSU 109-92.

For the second time in 15 days, the LSU men’s basketball team was sitting squarely on a powder keg Saturday.

After a Jan. 27 meeting with Alabama in Coleman Coliseum, when the Crimson Tide exploded for 59 second-half points and 109 for the game, the Tigers didn’t need to be reminded how dangerous their opponent was when they got together again.

In their first game, Alabama needed 2? minutes to turn a four-point lead early in the second half into an 11-point cushion — which ballooned to 17 points four minutes later — in an eventual 109-88 win.

Fast forward to Saturday when No. 16 Alabama couldn’t shake LSU again in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. There were 17 lead changes — 15 coming in an entertaining first half — and six ties in the first 31 minutes.

And then, it happened again.

Quickly, very quickly.

After Jalen Cook gave the Tigers a 73-72 lead with 9:32 remaining, the Crimson Tide, which went into the game fourth in Division I in scoring offense, went off.

They scored 13 points in a two-minute span, which turned a one-point deficit into a 10-point advantage, and weren't threatened in the final seven minutes of an eventual 109-92 blowout.

“We’ve got a lot of offensive firepower that we’re liable to explode at any point,” Alabama coach Nate Oats said.

An uptempo attack, 3-point field goals, offensive rebounds — which resulted in a 28-8 edge in second-chance points — and some timely defensive stops combined to put an emphatic end to LSU’s upset bid in a matter of minutes.

Alabama wound up taking an astonishing 81 field-goal attempts, including 44 from 3-point range, to LSU’s 60.

Both teams had 74 possessions, but the difference was the Crimson Tide averaged 1.473 points per possession to LSU’s 1.243 points.

In reaching the century mark for the seventh time in 24 games, Alabama, which is tied with South Carolina at the top of the Southeastern Conference standings, shot from fourth to first nationally overnight in scoring with 90.3 points per game.

“If we can get our defense better at all,” Oats said, “we can be a pretty dominant team.”

He didn’t have to convince LSU coach Matt McMahon, who has been concerned with Alabama’s firepower since their first meeting in late January.

“I'm not trying to oversimplify the game, but at the end of the day because of offensive rebounding and turnovers they shot 81 balls in the game,” he said. “We only shot 60, so it’s hard to win. … It’s hard to win when that’s the case.

“For the most part, the first 32 minutes, we played smart and moved the ball offensively. That enabled us to have a better opportunity to defend them in transition.”

But it all came apart with poor defense on one end and bad shot selection on the other end when Alabama, which finished with 18 made 3-pointers, cranked up its scoring machine.

Even though his team held its own at times in its two matchups with the Crimson Tide, especially in averaging 90 points in the two losses, McMahon knew where it went wrong.

“We scored 88 and 92 in the two games, but some of our poor offense and the second-half turnovers helped fuel those 3s they were able to get,” he said.

And, as he and his team found out twice in two weeks, the Crimson Tide doesn’t need the help.

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