Late Run Puts Lady Tigers in NCAA Second Round
by Todd Politz
BATON ROUGE -- After
trailing by six with 10 minutes to play, the LSU women's basketball
team went on a 16-2 run to get past San Diego State, 64-56, in the
first round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament Sunday evening at
the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
During the eight-minute span, LSU (23-10) held the Aztecs to 0-of-8 shooting and 2-of-9 from the free throw line to survive.
Lady Tigers advanced to face No. 4 seed Penn State, a 85-77 winner over
No. 13 seed UTEP, in Tuesday's second round at the PMAC.
Diego State (25-7), which made only three field goals in the final 10
minutes, saw its season end in a physical game that included 41 fouls.
It was free throw shooting that was the difference, as the Lady Tigers
had a 26-7 advantage at the line.
LaSondra Barrett led LSU with
17 points and 10 reounds, as the All-SEC forward made 13 of 18 free
throws. Courtney Jones added 13 points and eight rebounds, while Jeanne
Kenney had 10 points.
LSU shot 38.8 percent from the field, but made 26-of-35 free throws (74.3 percent) including 22-of-28 in the second half.
Diego State guard Courtney Clements led her team with 17 points, while
point guard Chelsea Hopkins had 16. The Aztecs shot 40 percent from the
field (22 of 55) but made only 7-of-20 free throws.
The game was tied at 27-27 at halftime before San Diego State opened a 43-36 lead with 12 minutes left.
LSU Head Coach Nikki Caldwell
Opening statement ...
off, Coach Burns and her team, San Diego State, did an unbelievable job
of coming here and really executing their game plan, exploiting us of
the dribble drive. I thought their guard play was extremely strong for
them, but I'm very proud of our team for coming out with a win. When
you play this time of year you need players to make big-time plays for
you. When we were down by seven, I really felt we got some great energy
off our bench, but more importantly the three young ladies to the left
of me (LaSondra Barrett, Courtney Jones and Jeanne Kenney) made some
big-time plays for us. I can't say enough of how proud I am of this
group for staying true to the game plan and coming out with a victory."
On the team's toughness ...
injuries are something that you cannot control, nor do we practice
making them tougher. I think it's just who they are as people. The
staff before us did a great job of putting together this team. They're
tough kids. Jeanne Kenney got popped pretty good unintentionally, and
you weren't going to keep her off the floor. LaSondra Barrett sustained
a concussion and she gradually got herself back in a clean bill of
health. To me they don't show softness, and that's how we play the
game. We play very tough on the defensive and rebounding sides of the
ball because that's who (we) are as people."
On executing inside ...
game plan initially was to pound the ball inside. We got some great
looks we just missed a lot of layups and a lot of paint points. San
Diego State did a great job of really disrupting the basketball, so we
went to some pressure release to try to give Jeanne (Kenney) and Bianca
(Lutley) some looks there. We also moved Boogie (LaSondra Barrett) to
the point, and I thought that helped change up the look a little bit as
GUARD JEANNE KENNEY
On support from fans ...
being on our home court is a real advantage. We have the best fans in
the world. They cheer us on. Win or lose, they'll be there for us. I
thought they were our sixth man on the court today. We thank them for
all their support and hope they come out Tuesday, too."
On her first NCAA win ...
in the NCAA Tournament for the first time is definitely a wonderful
experience. For me personally, this game was just a home game to me.
It's important to take it day by day and hopefully we'll get this win
Tuesday, and we'll be on our way."
FORWARD LASONDRA BARRETT
On continuing to compete ...
thought we started out great at the beginning in keeping our intensity.
We got an early lead. They made adjustments, and they're a good team.
They have pretty good players, and they made some big shots. I think
what made the difference is that we didn't give up. The fans were a big
part, and the crowd was into the game. Having them on our back and
having big plays come off the bench from certain people was great. I
think we just stuck at it."
FORWARD COURTNEY JONES
On LSU ...
think everybody gave what they had tonight, especially our bench. When
they made their run, we made sure that we didn't give up. We refocused
and we listened to our coaches about relying on our defense and getting
the ball in the paint and making layups. First half, we really weren't
making any, so we just had to calm down and relax."
NCAA First Round Game 2 Notes - LSU 64, San Diego State 56
LSU advances to Second Round Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. vs. Penn State
San Diego State's ninth NCAA appearance; LSU is making its 21st appearance in NCAA Tournament; 39-20 record.
All-Time Series: LSU now leads 1-0
Seventh time LSU has hosted first and second round
jumped out to a 17-9 advantage with 11:29 to play, but San Diego State
went on a 18-5 run to take a 27-22 advantage ... The last part of that
run was 9-0 in favor of San Diego State ... LSU closed the half on a
5-0 run over the final 3:12 with Kenney's three with 36 seconds left
tying the game at the half, 27-27.
In the second half, San Diego
State broke a 29-29 tie and scored seven straight to go up 36-29 with
17:10 to play ... The lead remained at 7 through 37-30 and 39-32,
before LSU cut the game to three at 39-36 ... The Tigers would
eventually go on a 10-0 run over a 5:14 period that gave the Tigers the
lead at 51-47 forcing a SDS timeout with 4:31 to play. The run would
expand to 12-0 and 53-47 by the final media timeout at 3:40 and 14-0 at
55-47 at the 2:36 mark. A layup by Hopkins with 10:04 to play had given
SDSU a 47-41 advantage and was their last field goal until the 3:16
San Diego State Notes:
San Diego State is 25-7; San Diego State was just 7-20 at the free throw line, 5-15 in the second half.
LSU is 23-10
Turnbow becomes fifth player in
school history to block at least 100 shots in a career. Ties DeTrina
White for fourth place in LSU career records.
LSU with the win has advanced to the second round in each of its last 13 tournament appearances.
Barrett made double digit free throws for the fifth time this season.