Freshman leads Alabama men in record rout of LSU; Georgia beats Ole Miss

AP photo by Vasha Hunt / Alabama forward Brandon Miller celebrates after a 3-pointer during Saturday's home win against LSU.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — 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 ever between the Southeastern Conference rivals.

"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" performances he has ever seen.

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 ).

Alabama's sixth straight win was all but locked up well before intermission 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."

Rylan Griffen, Jahvon Quinerly and Mark Sears each scored 12 points for Alabama, with Quinerly making half of his eight tries from behind the arc, and 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 going into Saturday, 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 going 11-of-16 from the floor, including 7-of-11 on 3-point tries, matching the team's season high for points he had already shared with Sears. He headed to the bench with eight 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 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.

The victory left Alabama in sole possession of first place in the SEC after Kentucky beat No. 5 Tennessee 63-56 earlier in the day.

"I'm not necessarily going to call this a statement win," Oats said. "I mean, we made a lot of 3s."

Alabama shot 20-for-54 (37%) from long range, 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 LSU.

"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."

Georgia 62, Ole Miss 58

OXFORD, Miss. — Kario Oquendo scored all 15 of his points in the second half, and his 10 straight points in the final four minutes carried the Bulldogs past Ole Miss.

The win came in first-year Georgia coach Mike White's first trip to Oxford, where he was a four-year starter for the Rebels, leading them to three straight 20-win seasons before becoming an assistant coach on teams that won two SEC West Division titles.

Oquendo's first points came on a 3-pointer four minutes into the second half, but his offense really came alive in the final six minutes, starting with a dunk and a layup to keep the Bulldogs within two. He knocked down a 3 to give Georgia a 57-56 lead with 2:20 left and knocked down another with 1:04 left to make it 60-56. His two free throws with three seconds left sealed it.

Matthew Murrell dribbled the length of the floor and scored at the basket with 42 seconds left to get Ole Miss within two, but Georgia was able to run the shot clock down before Terry Roberts launched a 3-point attempt that caromed off the rim for Braelen Bridges to corral and maintain possession. Oquendo snared a long pass in bounds in the backcourt and drew an immediate foul before hitting both free throws to hand Ole Miss (8-9) its fifth straight loss to open conference play.

Oquendo was 5-for-10 from the field and 3-for-4 from beyond the arc. Roberts finished with 14 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Georgia (13-4, 3-1).

Murrell led Ole Miss with 13 points, four rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals. Amaree Abram contributed 12 points and five assists.