Women's Basketball Wins Program's 800th Game
MIAMI - Junior forward
Theresa Plaisance scored 20 points and blocked a career-high seven
shots and the LSU women's basketball team withstood a late run from
Florida International to win the FIU Thanksgiving Classic, 76-69, on
Sunday afternoon in U.S. Century Bank Arena.
In the process, the Lady Tigers (3-2) claimed their 800th all-time
victory, becoming the fourth program in Southeastern Conference history
to reach the milestone. LSU joins Tennessee, Georgia and Auburn in the
800-win club. The Lady Tigers finished the weekend with a 2-0 mark,
including a signature victory over No. 12 West Virginia on Friday night.
Plaisance was named tournament MVP as she combined for 33 points in the
two games. Her seven blocks on Sunday tied for the fourth-most in
school history and the most since Taylor Turnbow swatted seven on Nov.
26, 2008 against Xavier.
"We made some big plays down the stretch and got to the free throw line
late," said LSU head coach Nikki Caldwell. "Theresa Plaisance has
really stepped up her play as a go-to (player) for us. I also like that
our bench play is giving us something. Derreyal Youngblood had some
good offensive rebounds and Anne Pedersen made some shots. Each group
that went out there stepped up and did something positive."
Freshman Danielle Ballard and senior guard Adrienne Webb earned spots
on the all-tournament team as well. Ballard, who scored a game-high 25
against West Virginia, had 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting on Sunday.
Webb fired in 19 points and buried three treys. Junior guard Jeanne
Kenney had a career-high-tying eight assists.
"This team continues to find themselves," said Caldwell. "They are
learning more about each other and getting more comfortable with the
philosophy and the defensive schemes we are throwing out there. We do
have a lot of weapons when you look at our offensive package. Jeanne
Kenney distributed the basketball really well today."
FIU (2-3) was led in scoring by Sun Belt Conference Preseason Player of
the Year Jerica Coley. Coley finished with a game-high 25 points and
nine rebounds. She rallied the Panthers back from a once 14-point LSU
lead midway through the second half.
LSU shot a blistering 53.1 percent from the floor. The Lady Tigers made
27 field goals on a season-best 18 assists. It represented LSU's
highest assist total since dishing out 18 against Alabama on Jan. 8
last season. The Lady Tigers did an outstanding job working the ball
inside and getting quality looks in the paint.
Ballard gave LSU a 38-34 lead at the half when she went one-on-one for
a runner as time expired. The lead grew to double-digits early in the
second half when the star freshman crossed over Coley and scored on an
acrobatic layup. Webb's jumper off a Kenney steal and assist gave the
Lady Tigers their largest advantage, 55-41, with 13:26 remaining in the
Coley refused to let the Panthers go quietly. She drained a three and
Carmen Miloglav's layup off an LSU miss cut the advantage to 67-64 with
2:07 to play. However, Ballard came up with a clutch defensive play
again for the Lady Tigers, picking a Coley pass in the final minute. It
led to two Webb free throws.
LSU once again iced the game at the line as Kenney accounted for four
makes in the final 13 seconds. As a team, the Lady Tigers finished
18-of-25 from the line for 72 percent.