The Tigers fared a lot better in the rematch against No. 4 Alabama than they did the first time around, a game they lost by 40 on the road in January. But one of the best performances since the calendar turned to 2023 wasn't enough as LSU lost at home 79-69.
With the loss, the Tigers' losing streak has now reached double digits while the Crimson Tide remains perfect in SEC play.
LSU (12-11, 1-9 SEC) managed to keep things tight in the first half despite shooting just 27.8% from the field, largely thanks to efficient free-throw shooting and a few timely threes.
The Tigers shot 13 of 14 from behind the charity stripe with eight of those being made by Derek Fountain, who had 18 points in the first half and also shot 4 of 7 from the field with two makes from beyond the arc. Alabama (20-3, 10-0 SEC) shot above 50%, which made it difficult for LSU to flip the momentum, but it stayed in range.
At one point, the Tigers trailed by just three with under four minutes to play in the first half, but the Crimson Tide ultimately pulled away to a 44-37 lead at the break.
LSU continued to fight in the second half and kept the game close. Alabama's offense dropped off considerably as it didn't hit a shot in the final 7:20, but seven second-half three-pointers aided it. The Tigers, meanwhile, hit just one of their final 10 shots and missed six shots from the line.
Fountain finished with a season-high 26 points while Cam Hayes scored 15, but the team as a whole shot just 30.6% for the game.
It's a disappointing loss for LSU, which is still searching for a way to reverse its misfortunes in Year 1 under Matt McMahon. Next up is a more winnable game against Mississippi State, but it's in Starkville, and it's never easy to win on the road in the SEC.
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Story originally appeared on LSU Tigers Wire