Women's Basketball Opens Road Trip at Hampton
HAMPTON, Va. - The LSU women's basketball team begins a four-game road trip at 6 p.m. CT Friday as the Lady Tigers travel to take on Hampton, the 2012 champions of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, in Hampton University Convocation Center.
The contest will be carried live on the LSU Sports Radio Network on 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge and to members of the Geaux Zone on www.LSUsports.net/live. In-game updates are available via Twitter at www.Twitter.com/LSUwbkb.
LSU (1-0) practiced on Thursday in Baton Rouge before taking a charter flight to Hampton, Va. Following Friday's game, the Lady Tigers will depart for Washington D.C. and then tour The White House on Saturday morning. LSU will spend three days in the nation's capital and play No. 25 Georgetown at 6 p.m. CT Monday.
It's been nearly a week since the Lady Tigers overcame a six-point second-half deficit to rally past Wichita State, 72-70, in the season-opener last Sunday. LSU narrowly out-rebounded the Shockers, but head coach Nikki Caldwell said this week the Lady Tigers turned up the intensity on the boards.
"We have been working on making sure our team knows the level of intensity we should be playing at," said Caldwell. "You had to give credit to Wichita State for exploiting our lack of intensity for 40 minutes. I felt there were some good moments in that game, but I also felt there were lapses that stopped momentum.
"Our team needs to understand that there is a certain level that we need to play, especially on the defensive end and in with our rebound coverage. Rebounding has been a focal point. We haven't gone a day without the bubble on the rim. They must box out because it is going to be a miss. We really need to get after the opponent defensively."
Hampton (2-0) is riding the momentum of a monumental win at Mississippi State on Monday. The Lady Pirates shutdown the Lady Bulldogs and won by a score of 56-48. It was their second win over an SEC opponent in two years. Hampton beat Florida during the 2010-11 season.
"Intensity makes a difference on the road," said Caldwell. "You have to be a team that can show the (NCAA) committee that you can win on the road against two very good opponents."
Friday's game is Hampton's first home contest of the year. Last season, the Lady Pirates dominated the MEAC and finished with a 26-5 overall record before losing to Stanford in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
LSU and Hampton are meeting for the first time. The Lady Tigers are 6-0 all-time against MEAC competition. LSU is facing a MEAC opponent for the first time since beating Howard, 69-39, on Nov. 27, 2010 in the World Vision Classic in Storrs, Conn.
Senior guard Bianca Lutley is coming off the most impressive performance of her career after scoring a career-high 19 points, knocking down a career-best 7-of-8 from the free throw line and adding three assists and two steals. Fellow senior Adrienne Webb fired in 17 points in her first game.
LSU sits just two wins from becoming the fourth Southeastern Conference team in women's basketball history to claim 800 all-time victories. The Lady Tigers are 798-369 in their 38-year history.