BATON ROUGE -- One of Louisiana's biggest women's basketball rivalries continues at 2 p.m. Sunday as the LSU Lady Tigers seek to extend their winning streak against Louisiana Tech in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
Kids can have their photo taken with "Santa Mike the Tiger" prior to the game at the fan zone located next to portal F in the Maravich Center. Doors to the arena open at 1 p.m. Girl Scout Louisiana East members and their families have a ticket window open for $1 tickets for Girl Scout Day via a promo code. Adult tickets start at $6, while youth tickets (ages 3-12) begin at $3.
The contest will be televised by CST (Cox Sports Television) with Lyn Rollins and Victor Howell handling the call. The LSU Sports Radio Network will carry it on 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge and to members of the Geaux Zone on LSUsports.net/live. Live streaming HD video is also available to Geaux Zone members. Patrick Wright and Jeff Palermo call the action on the LSU Sports Radio Network.
LSU (5-3) turned in its best defensive effort of the season in limiting East Tennessee State to 26.6 percent shooting in a 76-42 win on Thursday night in the Maravich Center. Head coach Nikki Caldwell, the newest member of the 100-career win club, has urged the team to build on its recent confidence.
"We have to have a vision and see where this team needs to go," said Caldwell. "Every win helps your cause in the long run. You have to bounce back from a loss. We did that Thursday. We have moved on, and we have to focus now on our next opponent, which is Louisiana Tech. Our main focus and our daily goal is daily improvement."
Louisiana Tech (4-5) has played one of the nation's most challenging schedules to date. The Lady Techsters have lost games to three Southeastern Conference teams - South Carolina, Texas A&M and Mississippi State - but they did defeat Ole Miss 57-54.
Louisiana Tech, winners of two straight, beat Oral Roberts 61-59 on Friday night in Ruston behind a game-high 21 points from Whitney Frazier. Kelia Shelton leads the squad with 12.8 points per game.
"Historically Louisiana Tech has been one of the best programs in the country," said Caldwell. "They are a team that is going to come very hungry. They are going to be a team that gets after you on the defensive end."
After winning seven straight in the series, LSU leads the all-time showdown with the Lady Techsters, 13-12. The last time Louisiana Tech beat LSU was in the 1999 NCAA Tournament by a score of 73-52 in Los Angeles on March 20. The Lady Tigers have also won the last eight regular season meetings and three in a row in the Maravich Center in the series.
Senior forward Theresa Plaisance continues to have an MVP season for LSU, averaging an SEC-best 18.4 points per game and 3.4 blocks per game. She ranks third in the league in rebounding with 8.8 boards per contest. Plaisance has scored in double-figures in seven consecutive games.
Danielle Ballard has made an early case for SEC Freshman of the Year, ranking second among all freshmen in the SEC in scoring with 12.9 points per game. She is also seventh in the league in steals per contest with 2.6. She directed an efficient LSU offense on Thursday night that racked up a season-best 24 assists.
The Lady Tigers are expected to have the services back of preseason All-SEC senior guard Adrienne Webb. Webb missed the East Tennessee State contest recovering from a head injury she sustained in the Tulane game on Dec. 9.
Sunday's game is the first of three consecutive contests against Louisiana teams over the next six days for LSU. The Lady Tigers host Grambling on Tuesday before welcoming McNeese State to the PMAC for a Friday matinee.