LSU rallies late to top Alabama

No. 22 Mississippi State remains undefeated after beating Arkansas.

Published: Sunday, January 11, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 11, 2004 at 2:25 a.m.
BATON ROUGE, La. - Darrel Mitchell tied a career high with 19 points as LSU erased a 10-point deficit in the last five minutes to defeat Alabama 70-66 on Saturday.
The Tigers (11-1, 2-0 SEC) are off to their first 2-0 start in conference play since 1995.
Mitchell scored 14 of his 19 points in the second half as the Tigers overcame 13 missed free throws and 40.4 percent shooting.
LSU, which trailed 60-50 with 5:17 left, started its comeback with four free throws, and then got back-to-back three-pointers from Mitchell, the second from 25 feet away, to tie the score with three minutes left.
The Tigers then took the lead for the first time since the early stages of the second half on Jaime Lloreda's layup.
The Crimson Tide (8-4, 0-1) tied the game on two free throws from Earnest Shelton and then reclaimed the lead on Kennedy Winston's 14-foot jumper with 1:12 left.
But LSU grabbed the lead for good seconds later when Antonio Hudson drained a three-pointer from the top of the key, and the Tigers scored five more points on free throws. Tack Minor, Brandon Bass and Lloreda each scored 12 points for LSU. Hudson finished with 13 points.
    Lawrence Roberts had his way with Arkansas in the paint, getting 29 points and 11 rebounds to keep No. 22 Mississippi State unbeaten.
    The host Bulldogs (13-0, 2-0 SEC) are off to the best start in school history as they head into a key portion of their schedule. Mississippi State hosts No. 7 Kentucky on Tuesday night, then plays road games at LSU and No. 14 Florida.
    Billy Pharis scored 18 points to lead Arkansas (8-5, 0-2), which has lost four straight trips to Starkville. Ronnie Brewer had 14 points and seven rebounds.
    Shane Power came off the bench to add 14 points for the Bulldogs.
    The Razorbacks had no answer for Roberts' combination of power, size and quickness.
    The 6-foot-9 transfer from Baylor scored on a variety of bullish moves in the first half, on his way to 19 points.
  • AUBURN 80, MISSISSIPPI 53: Marco Killingsworth had 16 points and 10 rebounds and host Auburn dominated the boards in a win over Mississippi, the second-largest margin in the rivalry's 107-game history.
    Brandon Robinson added 14 points and Kyle Davis scored 11 as the Tigers (10-3, 1-1 SEC) controlled the inside and kept the Rebels (8-5, 0-2) from getting into an offensive rhythm.
    Auburn shot 56 percent to 42 percent for the Rebels while doubling them up on rebounds, 40-20.
    The rout was a rarity in recent years for the series, with the previous eight games decided by a combined 29 points. The Tigers have won the past four meetings.
    The only game more lopsided in the series was the Rebels' 93-65 win in 1974.
    Auburn scored the game's first eight points, led by 17 at halftime and by as many as 34 before both coaches emptied the benches in the final five minutes.
  • SOUTH CAROLINA 84, GEORGIA 63: Renaldo Balkman, benched for part of the first half for coming late to the pre-game meal, led an early 12-0 run with his first five points and helped South Carolina beat host Georgia.
    Starter Carlos Powell also was tardy earlier in the day, so he was taken out of the lineup. Balkman, normally the first player off the bench, instead was the second one.
    It hardly mattered. The Gamecocks (14-2, 1-1 SEC) trailed only once and won for only the third time in 13 games in Athens. Kerbrell Brown scored 18 points for South Carolina and Powell and Josh Gonner added 13 each.
    Balkman finished with 12 points. Chris Daniels had 18 for the Bulldogs (8-5, 0-2), who haven't been able to build on a victory last Saturday against then-No. 3 Georgia Tech. In their first two SEC games, they've lost by a combined 45 points to Tennessee and South Carolina.
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