Lady Tigers Rally to Defeat Tide

Raigyne Moncrief scored 19 points as LSU beat Alabama, 48-41.
Raigyne Moncrief scored 19 points as LSU beat Alabama, 48-41.
LSU Athletics Creative Services
Grant Kauvar
Grant Kauvar
Communications Student Assistant

BATON ROUGE, La. --- The LSU women’s basketball team rallied to defeat the Alabama Crimson Tide, 48-41, here at the Maravich Center Sunday afternoon. LSU improves to 16-7 overall; 5-5 in the SEC, while Alabama drops to 15-8 overall; 3-7 in league play.

The Lady Tigers forced Alabama to turn the ball over 25 times, and scored 28 points off of the miscues. This is the 13th time this season that the Lady Tigers have forced 20 or more turnovers in a game. LSU came into the game averaging nearly 23 points a game off turnovers. LSU tallied 15 steals and held the advantage in the paint, 24-16. The Tide outrebounded LSU, 40-34. This is LSU’s 12-consecutive win over Alabama at the PMAC.

Junior Raigyne Moncrief led the Lady Tigers in scoring with 19 points on 8-of-17 shooting from the field. She also recorded eight rebounds to enter the 500-Rebound club at LSU. She is the 29th Lady Tiger all-time to amass 500 rebounds, and the 19th player to have at least 1,000 points and 500 rebounds. Moncrief, who came into the game ranked No. 6 nationally in steals, grabbed a team-leading five steals.

Freshman Ayana Mitchell contributed nine points and four rebounds, and was 5-of-8 from the free-throw line. Senior Jasmine Rhodes and sophomore Chloe Jackson each tallied seven points, and Rhodes grabbed eight rebounds. Alexis Hyder also posted six points and five rebounds.

The LSU defense got off to a strong start recording three steals that helped the Lady Tigers jump out to a 14-4 lead, scoring 10 points off of turnovers. Rebounding was also a major contributor in LSU being able to jump out to the early lead, tallying seven rebounds, three offensive. Just when it seemed as though Alabama could be gaining a little momentum by scoring four points in a row, Moncrief hit a jumper with the shot clock winding down with less than a minute to go in the first quarter. The quarter finished with LSU holding a 17-10 lead over Alabama.

Most of the second quarter was defined by both offenses having difficulty getting the ball in the hoop. For a 4:38 stretch, neither team was able to record a field goal. The only scoring during that span was five free throws by Alabama and only one by LSU. In part, that was due to great defense as LSU recorded six of their 10 first-half steals during the second quarter. The scoring difficulty for the Lady Tigers continued however, as they were not able to find their stroke during the quarter. Alabama finished the half on an 8-2 run and outscored LSU, 14-8, in the second quarter as LSU took a 25-24 lead into the locker room at the half after being up by as many as 10 points.

Alexis Hyder was able to end LSU’s field goal drought quickly by beginning the second half with a quick layup. On the next play, Moncrief recorded her fifth rebound of the game, which was her 500th rebound in her career at LSU. Alabama then went on a 9-2 run to gain the 39-35 advantage heading into the fourth period.

A jumper by Moncrief and pair of free throws from Chloe Jackson tied the game up at 39. Mitchell then hit a layup while getting fouled and completed the three-point play to give LSU a three-point lead. LSU’s defense only allowed two points in the fourth quarter to the Crimson Tide and limited them to seven percent field goal shooting (1-14). Free-throw shooting and rebounding down the stretch allowed the Lady Tigers to hold on to their lead and win the game, 48-41.

Jordan Lewis led Alabama with 13 points while also recording three rebounds and two assists. Ashley Knight finished up with nine points and six rebounds.

The Lady Tigers will be on the road for the next two games, facing Ole Miss on Thursday and Vanderbilt on Monday. The Vanderbilt matchup will be carried by SEC Network, and is the first of two games for the Lady Tigers against the Commodores. LSU will return to the PMAC on Thursday, Feb. 16, for the Play4Kay “Pink” game against Texas A&M.

NOTES & TRENDS
• Starters for LSU were Chloe Jackson, Rina Hill, Alexis Hyder, Raigyne Moncrief & Jasmine Rhodes.
Raigyne Moncrief scored 18 points for her 21st double-digit scoring game this season and the 58th of her career. She has led LSU in scoring in 11 games and has scored in double figures in the last seven-straight contests.
Raigyne Moncrief, who tallied eight rebounds, entered the LSU 500-Rebound club with her fifth board of the game. She now totals 503 rebounds in 88 career games at LSU. She is the 29th Lady Tiger all-time to amass 500 rebounds, and the 19th player to have at least 1,000 points and 500 rebounds.
Raigyne Moncrief registered five steals, marking the eighth game this season that she has logged five or more steals. She has 84 steals on the year and ranks tied for seventh all-time in single-season steals. She is tied with Pokey Chatman who had 84 in 1989-90. Moncrief is ninth all-time at LSU in career steals with 208.
Jasmine Rhodes hauled down eight rebounds, which is a season high for the senior.
• With the win, LSU is now 39-18 over Alabama in the series history. LSU has won 23 of the 26 meetings at the PMAC, including the last 12-straight contests. Alabama’s last win in Baton Rouge was during the 1997-98 season.
• The two points by Alabama in the fourth quarter is the fewest points an opponent has scored in a single quarter in the two seasons that women’s college basketball has utilized the quarter format. The 17 points for Alabama in the second half is also the lowest in a half this season.
• LSU was 14-of-24 from the free-throw line, marking the 11th time this season that LSU has gone to the line 20 or more times. Alabama was 12-of-22 from the line, marking the fifth time this season that LSU and the opponent registered 20 or more free-throw attempts in the same game.

LSU HEAD COACH NIKKI FARGAS
“I was very pleased with the tone we set in the first quarter. From a defensive standpoint, I was very pleased with the defensive effort in the fourth quarter to hold Alabama to two points. Alabama did a nice job of disrupting us. I thought they scouted us very well. They were ready to change up their defense on the ball against their ball-screening action. This group found a way to dig deep defensively and we were able to come out with a win.”

On forcing Alabama to turn the ball over 25 times…
“I think it was huge, it was the difference maker. We wanted to capitalize off those turnovers, and we did. Whenever you’re turning a team over twenty-two times a game, you want to point that out. We were right on target. This game is such a tough game to play, especially in our conference. The SEC is filled with great players and coaches. Every game is like playing in a tournament. You’re going to be scouted, you have to have counters, players have to make big plays, and you just cannot overlook anybody in our league.”

On the team’s ability to grind out wins…
“I think it’s huge because we lost games to some of the best teams in the country. To be able to come back from a loss at Tennessee, to focus in and not let that loss linger over us was huge. It’s huge for us to try and get as many home wins as possible. We only have two home games and four of our next five are on the road, so I feel that this team understands the standings and where we are trying to go.”

On offensive rebounds at the end…
“That’s big. It sealed the game for us and Chloe Jackson had a huge offensive rebound for us. We just kept fighting, and that’s what it takes. It takes a lot of fight and a lot of grit until that buzzer sounds.”

ALABAMA HEAD COACH KRISTY CURRY
“Obviously our inability to score consistently really caught up with us down the stretch. I think that is a credit to LSU. They were able to make a few more plays. Those guys down the stretch were able to find a way to score while we were not.”

On LSU being able to turn the ball over…
“I thought that a lot of our turnovers, were really disappointing especially in our post play. I thought a lot of our turnovers were unforced at times. Secondly, I think they are the quickest team that I have seen in person and their defense has been really good.”

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