Donta Hall powers Alabama to 80-65 win over LSU
By JOHN ZENOR
Feb. 14, 2018
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Donta Hall scored on alley-oops, converted 3-point plays and spent a fair amount of time elevating his mismatched sneakers well into the air for dunks.
Hall had 20 points and eight rebounds to power Alabama to an 80-65 win over LSU on Tuesday night. He played with a straw in his mouth for the second straight game and sported a crimson shoe on his right foot and a white one on his left "just because."
"Now I'm going to start wearing two different shoes every game," he said.
Hall spearheaded a 29-5 second-half run that turned a one-point game into a second straight lopsided win for the Crimson Tide (17-9, 8-5 Southeastern Conference).
The Tigers (14-11, 5-8) managed just one field goal in a span of 13-plus minutes.
Apparently the straw is a good luck charm for Hall.
Fresh from a double-double in a win over No. 18 Tennessee, he had three dunks, a layup and a 3-point play during one sequence in the big run. Hall left the game with more than seven minutes left to chants of his name after making 8 of 10 shots.
"Hall played a tremendous game," LSU coach Will Wade said. "Just dunked everything. Looked like he was playing on a Nerf goal out there, some of those."
Collin Sexton had 15 points and six assists for Alabama despite being limited by foul trouble. Fellow freshman John Petty made all three 3-point attempts and scored 11 points.
Braxton Key scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
"In the second half, we had about a seven- to 10-minute spurt there that was as good a basketball as we've played all year," Alabama coach Avery Johnson said.
Daryl Edwards led LSU with 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting. Skylar Mays had 13 points and nine rebounds.
LSU's own freshman star, Tremont Waters, made just 2 of 12 shots for five points. "If we didn't slow him down, we were going to have a tough night," Johnson said.
Duop Reath also managed just five points after scoring 26 in a win over Mississippi.
Waters and Reath did contribute to a hot start in the second half to help the Tigers cut Alabama's lead to 45-44. It was all Tide after that.
Even with Sexton exiting with his fourth foul with 15:50 left, Alabama reeled off 10 straight points to start the decisive run. As Wade said, "The floodgates opened."
"Alabama really turned the screws up defensively," he said.
Alabama made 10 of 21 3-pointers and shot 55.1 percent (27 of 49) from the field.
LSU: The Tigers won two of three games coming in but fell apart after starting the second half hot.
Alabama: The Crimson Tide won back to back games for the first time in three weeks, adding to a 78-50 romp over Tennessee. Despite some up-and-down performances, Alabama is building a solid NCAA Tournament resume.
TRIBUTE TO ANDY
Alabama's Johnson wore a red and blue tie in honor of Andy Kennedy, who announced his resignation — effective at the end of the season — as Mississippi's coach on Monday.
"This is a tough, tough job and Andy did it in a first-class way with a lot of character," the Tide coach said. "He embraced me when I first arrived."
LSU hosts Missouri on Saturday.
Alabama visits Kentucky on Saturday.
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