Lady Tigers Fall at No. 25 Tennessee
LSU Sports Interactive
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. --- The LSU women’s basketball team fell to 25th-ranked Tennessee, 77-58, here at Thompson-Boling Arena Thursday evening. Tennessee improves to 15-7 overall and 6-3 in the SEC, while LSU drops to 15-7 overall; 4-5 in league play.
Junior guard Raigyne Moncrief led the Lady Tigers with 20 points and seven rebounds. She also had three steals and two assists. Freshman Ayana Mitchell was the only other Lady Tiger in double digits with 14 points. She was 5-of-6 from the field and hit four of her six free-throw attempts. Mitchell also had four rebounds and a blocked shot.
Seniors Rina Hill and Jasmine Rhodes contributed nine points and eight points, respectively. The Lady Tigers were 12-of-14 from the free-throw line. The Lady Tigers turned the ball over just three times in the game, tying the school record that was set against Arkansas in 2007-08. LSU forced UT to turn the ball over 11 times and scored 12 points off the miscues.
Two Lady Vols registered double-doubles as Jaime Nared had 26 points and 10 rebounds and Diamond DeShields logged 15 points and 11 rebounds. DeShields was held scoreless in the first half. Mercedes Russell had 18 points and eight rebounds and Schaquilla Nunn posted 13 points and nine rebounds. UT dominated in the paint, 44-24, and on the boards, 42-28. Tennessee was 19-of-24 from the free-throw line.
“After watching Tennessee’s game against South Carolina, they really have made a huge transition from where they were about a month ago,” said LSU head coach Nikki Fargas. “I thought this game was a battle the first half, with the exception of that run at the end of the quarter, but they came out in the second half and really set the tone. You can’t take any possessions off against a team like Tennessee.”
LSU jumped out to a 10-6 lead early in the first quarter before UT went on a 9-0 run to gain the 15-10 lead with 1:37 left in the first period. Mitchell hit her first shot of the game and Hill converted the three-point play and UT added two free throws to take the 17-15 lead heading into the second quarter. The Lady Tigers tied the score at 19-19 but weren’t able to shift the momentum and UT led the remainder of the quarter and took a 34-27 lead into the locker room at the half. Moncrief had 12 of her 20 points in the first half and also had a pair of steals. LSU forced UT to turn the ball over seven times in the first half but the Lady Vols dominated the paint, 22-8 and the boards, 19-12.
UT scored the first five points of the second half and led by as many as 15 points in the third quarter. LSU was able to get as close as seven points but UT took a 56-47 lead into the fourth quarter. Mitchell continued to battle in the paint and scored seven points in the fourth quarter but UT outscored LSU, 21-11, for the victory.
Lady Tiger fans have just three more chances to catch the squad at home, including Sunday’s matchup against Alabama. Game time is set for 3 p.m. and the game will be carried on the SEC Network. It is “Alumni Weekend” and many former Lady Tigers will be at the game, including several members of the 1976-77 squad, who will be honored for reaching the national championship game of the 1977 AIAW Tournament. The first 1,000 fans will receive a Sylvia Fowles bobblehead, commemorating the former LSU standout’s three Olympic gold medals.
NOTES & TRENDS
• Starters for LSU were Chloe Jackson, Rina Hill, Alexis Hyder, Raigyne Moncrief & Jasmine Rhodes.
• Raigyne Moncrief registered three steals today and is now in the Top 10 in both career steals and single-season steals. She has 79 steals this season and is tied at No. 10 with Joyce Walker and totals 203 career steals at No. 9 all-time.
• Raigyne Moncrief scored 20 points for her seventh 20-point game this season; and the 11th of her career.
• Raigyne Moncrief has led LSU in scoring 10 times this season and has scored in double figures 20 times this year and in 57 career games at LSU.
• Freshman Ayana Mitchell scored 14 points for her eighth double-digit scoring game this season. It was her first since the Missouri game on Jan. 12. The 14 points is the second-highest scoring output of her career.
• LSU only turned the ball over three times, which ties the program record for fewest turnovers in a game. LSU had just three against Arkansas on Feb. 28, 2008.