No. 14 Women’s Hoops Drops 63-56 Decision at No. 13 Kentucky
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Raigyne
Moncrief racked up a SEC season’s best 19 points coupled with a
career-high tying nine rebounds, but the No. 14 LSU women’s basketball
team was handed a 63-56 defeat to start the second half of the SEC
season by No. 13 Kentucky Sunday at Memorial Coliseum.
Lady Tigers (17-5, 6-3 SEC) nearly overcame a 15-point deficit during
the last 11-plus minutes. LSU got as close as four points inside the
final minute but ultimately had their three-game winning streak
snapped. Kentucky (17-5, 5-4 SEC) picked up its third straight victory
over the Lady Tigers in Lexington.
“When we look
at the game – what we needed to do on the offensive end was take care
of the basketball,” head coach Nikki Caldwell said. “That was an issue,
and Kentucky capitalized off of our turnovers. We also had a lot of
missed layups. One of the things about Kentucky that’s been a staple
for them is they rely on their defense, and their defense did a good
job of disrupting us especially in the first half. By doing so, that
allowed them to get those transition baskets.”
Moncrief, she collected 14 of her 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting and
eight of her nine rebounds during the second half. The freshmen guard
also dished out four assists over a season-high 35 minutes.
Plaisance, the reigning SEC Player of the Week, battled her way to 13
points and six rebounds. It was Plaisance’s 12th straight game in
Shanece McKinney tacked on eight
points, nine rebounds and a season-high four blocked shots. She has
registered 11 rejections over her last four outings.
the bench, DaShawn Harden secured nine points on 4-of-8 from the floor.
She also hauled in five rebounds and added two steals.
put together a balanced attack as six players came away with six points
or more. Bria Goss led the way with 11 points followed by Jennifer
O’Neill’s 10 points. DeNesha Stallworth and Samarie Walker notched
eight points apiece and the duo combined for 15 of UK’s 36 rebounds.
a team, LSU compiled a 20-for-62 shooting performance and misfired on
10 of its 11 attempts from three-point territory. The 32.3 percent
shooting ratio was the team’s third lowest output on the season. The
Lady Tigers were an efficient 15-of-18 at the free throw line.
garnered a 21-for-57 effort from the floor aided by eight triples
courtesy of seven players. The Wildcats made 13-of-18 at the charity
stripe and scored 25 of the game’s 40 points off of turnovers. UK also
held a 23-14 advantage in bench points.
the first six points of the game during the first 97 seconds as
Plaisance and McKinney connected for layup followed by a pair of
McKinney free throws.
Kentucky snatched the
momentum and pieced together 21 of the next 25 points which opened with
a 13-point flurry. The Wildcats drained five treys during the 10:19
stretch and grabbed a 21-10 advantage at the 7:37 mark.
offensive was able to muster only six field goals in the opening 20
minutes but was able to stay within striking distance on the strength
of an 11-for-12 effort at the foul line. McKinney tallied all eight of
her points during the first half, and Kentucky carried a 32-23 lead
into the locker room.
“At halftime, we talked
about the areas that caused us trouble,” Caldwell said. “We wanted to
be more aggressive off the bounce. I thought Raigyne really set the
tone for us in doing so. We needed to get defensive stops and needed to
be able to set our defense. When we were able to do that, I thought we
were able to disrupt their offensive execution.”
The Wildcats took their largest lead at 48-33 with 11:33 remaining before the Lady Tigers began to mount a rally.
ripped off nine of the next 11 points to get back to within 50-42 at
the 8:04 mark. Harden kickstarted the run with a traditional
three-point play followed by three consecutive Moncrief buckets.
turned to Makayla Epps who provided three straight field goals and
stretched the advantage back to 57-45 with 5:10 left. It would prove to
be UK’s final basket as LSU’s defense clamped down which enabled the
Lady Tigers to make one final push.
Harden combined for LSU’s last 11 points. A Harden jumper cut the LSU
deficit down to 60-56 with 19.4 seconds on the clock.
Lady Tigers had two chances inside the final minute to get within one
possession game. However, Kentucky nailed 4-of-6 at the line during the
last 24.1 seconds to tuck away the 63-56 win. F