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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2007
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LSU's Terry Martin, left, knocks the ball loose from Alabama's Brandon Hollinger, right.
AP photo by Bill Feig
LSU's Terry Martin, left, knocks the ball loose from Alabama's Brandon Hollinger, right.

Bama nips LSU
in Baton Rouge

Davidson scores 31 points
to lift Crimson Tide

By Josh Cooper
jcooper@decaturdaily.com 340-2460

BATON ROUGE, La. — The season is saved. At least for one more game.

No. 19-ranked Alabama won at LSU 73-70, using a 10-4 run in the final 4:35 to rally.

Alabama's Jermareo Davidson finished with a career high 31 points, including a dunk to account for the final points, and Athens High graduate Richard Hendrix finished with 13 points to help pace the Tide.

Glen Davis finished with 15 points, only four of which came in the second half.

Alabama (16-5, 3-4 SEC) put the clamps down on LSU in the second half, especially in the final five minutes.

The Bengal Tigers (13-8, 2-5) had only one field goal in the final 4:35, and it was a 2-point shot by Chris Johnson with 6.4 seconds left to cut the Tide's lead to 71-70.

Johnson missed a wide open 3-point shot before that but was able to get a dunk off his miss.

Alabama then inbounded the ball to Alonzo Gee, who eluded defenders enough that LSU couldn't foul him. He passed the ball to Davidson at mid court, and the ball went out of bounds off an LSU player.

On the inbounds with 2.9 seconds, left Gee got the ball and went for the dunk but missed. Davidson was there to put the ball in to emphatically end the game and put the Tide back in contention in the SEC Western Division.

Both teams showed marked improvements in the first half.

Alabama was more assertive on offense, trying to be the aggressor on the road after suffering three straight blowout losses on the courts of other SEC teams.

Davidson showed what was to come later by putting the team on his wide shoulders, going right at the LSU offense and scoring 15 points in the first half.

But what Davidson was to Alabama, the 6-foot-9, 290-pound Davis was to the Tigers (13-8, 2-5 SEC).

Davis couldn't miss — well, except one jump shot that rimmed in and out as he made 5 of 6 from the field. His teammates were almost as automatic as the Tigers shot 64 percent.

What had been missing all season — Alabama's defense — was found and now the Crimson Tide might have found the confidence necessary to climb back off the NCAA tourney bubble.

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