TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Brandon Miller buried his first 3-pointer 13 seconds into the game.
It was just the beginning of another head-turning performance for both No. 4 Alabama and the Crimson Tide’s star freshman.
Miller finished with 31 points and had six of his team’s 20 3-pointers by halftime to lead Alabama to a 106-66 victory over LSU on Saturday in the most lopsided meeting in series history.
“He kind of got us started with that first 3 and had a barrage after that,” said Tide coach Nate Oats, calling it “one of the more efficient nights I’ve ever seen as a player.”
Miller, the nation’s top scoring freshman and a potential NBA lottery pick, matched LSU’s 22 first-half points by himself for the streaking Tide (15-2, 5-0 Southeastern Conference).
Alabama’s sixth straight win was all but locked up well before that first trip back to the locker room against the slumping Tigers (12-5, 1-4) in what turned into the biggest mismatch of the series’ 189-game history.
It was 59-22 by halftime, only one point shy of the previous biggest Alabama-LSU margin. The Tide won 113-75 during the 1975-76 season.
“They’ve got an elite team both ends of the floor. They’ve got explosive personnel at every position,” first-year LSU coach Matt McMahon said. “But at the end of the day, that was as thorough a tail-kicking as I’ve ever seen or been a part of.”
Mark Sears, Rylan Griffen and Jahvon Quinerly each scored 12 points for Alabama. Quinerly made 4 of 8 3s. Nick Pringle added 10 points.
Miller also had nine rebounds in his 24 minutes.
LSU’s KJ Williams, whose 18.5-point average trailed only Miller in the SEC, scored 10. He picked up his fourth foul with 17 minutes to play and was 4-of-12 shooting.
Miller increased his scoring lead by making 11 of 16 shots and 7 of 11 3s, matching a team season-high he had already shared with Sears. He headed to the bench with 8 minutes left and the reserves kept the gap in series-record territory.
At one point, Miller was outscoring LSU 22-14 after producing 10 straight Alabama points. That first shot from the top of the key was a good way to get it going.
“I feel like you’re locked in when you wake up, really,” Miller said. “Every shot’s not going to fall, so you’ve got to play it out and keep playing with your teammates and pull out a good win.”
The victory left Alabama in sole possession of first place in the SEC after Kentucky beat No. 5 Tennessee 63-56.
“I’m not necessarily going to call this a statement win,” Oats said. “I mean, we made a lot of 3s.”
LSU: Got off to a horrible start in its first four-game regular season stretch against ranked SEC teams since Pete Maravich’s sophomore season (1967-68). Made just 18 of 61 shots (30%) in the Tigers’ fourth consecutive loss.
Alabama: Maybe the hottest team in the land. The Tide are 5-0 in the SEC for the second time since 1987, also managing it in 2020-21. Every win during the current streak has come by double digits, including Wednesday night’s 84-69 win over No. 15 Arkansas.
Alabama made 20 of 54 3s (37%), one shy of the season-high set in November against Jacksonville State. The Tide set an SEC record two years ago in a 105-75 win over the Tigers.
“We shot 54. A lot of teams don’t shoot 54 in a three- or four-game span,” Oats said. “So we’re going to keep taking them. If you’re open, you shoot it here.”
LSU hosts No. 21 Auburn on Wednesday night.
Alabama visits Vanderbilt on Tuesday night.
AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
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