Louisiana State Tigers vs. Alabama Crimson Tide Pick & Prediction FEBRUARY 10th 2024

Alabama and LSU both had humbling losses on the road Wednesday night.

The No. 16 Crimson Tide and the host Tigers will try to bounce back when they meet Saturday in Baton Rouge, La.

Alabama (16-7, 8-2 SEC) lost sole possession of first place in the conference when it fell 99-81 at Auburn. At the same time LSU (12-10, 4-5) lost 88-68 at No. 6 Tennessee.

The Tide slipped into a tie with fellow 8-2 teams South Carolina and Auburn.

“This was for first place, and they came out and played like it was for first place,” Alabama coach Nate Oats said of Auburn. “We played like we would still be in first place if we won, which is disappointing.

“We could have separated ourselves a little bit and we didn’t, so now, we have some work to do in these last eight games.”

Auburn dominated the Tide, whose only loss in their previous 11 games was to No. 6 Tennessee (91-71) on Jan. 20. Alabama was outscored in the paint 40-26, outrebounded 42-35, and committed 15 turnovers that led to 22 points.

“They played harder and outrebounded us,” Oats said. “A lot of the effort stats that you look at — rebounds and turnovers — they were better than us. So, we have to go back and we’ve got to play harder.”

The Tide shot just 37 percent from the floor against Auburn, but it had one of its best offensive games of the season when it defeated LSU 109-88 on Jan. 27 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Alabama shot 56 percent from the floor and 41 percent on 3-pointers as it had its highest point total in an SEC game this season and its second-highest total in all games this season.

That point total was the most allowed by LSU this season. Tennessee looked like it might threaten that total when it scored the first 13 points of the game and raced to a 50-27 halftime lead Wednesday, but LSU outscored the Volunteers 41-38 in the second half.

“That first half, you’re on your heels because of poor offense, some poor shot selection and early turnovers,” LSU coach Matt McMahon said. “Now you’re in transition, (they’re) one of the top five transition teams in America.”

McMahon said he “really respected” his players’ effort, especially in the absence of point guard Jalen Cook (hamstring), who leads the team in scoring (15.5 points per game). The Tigers had just three scholarship guards available against Tennessee. Cook’s status for Saturday is uncertain.

“I thought they really battled through,” McMahon said. “We have what we have. The guys really fought and competed there in the second half to try and get back and make it a game.”

The Tigers trimmed a 26-point deficit to eight before running out of gas. It was the third time in the last four road games that LSU has given up at least 50 points in the first half.

But it will be home Saturday, where it is 9-3 overall and 3-1 in the SEC.

–Field Level Media

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