Alabama too strong for LSUJan 10, 2007 - 6:16 AM TUSCALOOSA, Alabama (Ticker) -- Alabama used a two-pronged attack to match the muscle of Glen "Baby" Davis.
Richard Hendrix scored 18 points and Jermareo Davidson added 12 and 12 rebounds to lift the 13th-ranked Crimson Tide to a 71-61 Southeastern Conference victory over No. 18 Louisiana State.
Alabama (14-2, 1-1 SEC West) was unable to contain the 6-9, 290-pound Davis, who scored 24 points and grabbed 17 rebounds despite wearing a vest to protect sore ribs as the result of his involvement in an auto accident following Saturday's win over Connecticut.
In the second half, though, the Crimson Tide continually worked the ball inside to the 6-8, 265-pound Hendrix and the 6-10, 230-pound Davidson to maintain the lead and bounce back from an 88-61 thrashing to Arkansas on Saturday.
"I'm really proud of our guys because it's easy when you eat some humble pie like we did on Saturday to pout and get down," Alabama coach Mark Gottfried said. "Our guys didn't do that, they walked right back into practice the next day and they were ready to go."
LSU (12-3, 0-1 SEC West) came out ready to go early, surging to a 13-6 lead six minutes into the game as Alabama missed five consecutive shots.
Alonzo Gee went on a scoring spree early, hitting three 3-pointers and netting 11 of his 15 first-half points in a span of 4:26 to stake the Crimson Tide to a 28-19 lead.
Brandon Hollinger followed with another 3-pointer and a dunk as Alabama extended the lead to 33-19 and appeared on the verge of a rout.
A 3-pointer by Davis sparked a 7-2 closing run to bring LSU within 35-26 at the break.
The Tigers continued to chip away and closed within 37-33 on a basket by Davis before Hendrix personally outscored the Tigers, 7-3, and Ronald Steele buried a pair of 3-pointers to get the lead into double digits.
A three-point play by Davidson, who registered his 25th career double-double, pushed the advantage to 56-44 with 8:12 left.
Davis scored five straight points to bring the Tigers within seven, but Hendrix hit a jumper and a dunk, and Davidson scored in the lane to extend the lead to 62-52 with 4:29 to play.
LSU got no closer than seven points thereafter and had its five-game winning streak.
"I thought our defense was really good," Gottfried said. "Collectively, Richard (Hendrix) did a great job. Demetrius Jemison did as well and we got weak-side help from everybody. So defense helped us tonight in a great way."
Mykal Riley added 12 points for the Crimson Tide, who hit 9-of-16 from the arc, including four from Gee.
Tasmin Mitchell scored 19 points for LSU, which was limited to 36 percent (25-of-70) shooting and was just 3-of-17 on 3-pointers.
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