Lady Tigers Set to Honor Seniors at Final Home Game
BATON ROUGE -- LSU, playing its best basketball of the season and riding a four-game winning streak at the right time of the year, will honor seniors Bianca Lutley and Adrienne Webb in their final regular season home game as the Lady Tigers host Alabama at 7 p.m. CT Thursday in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
The "Senior Night" ceremony begins at 6:45 p.m. Door to the arena open at 6 p.m. Tickets are on sale at www.LSUtix.net or they can be purchased at the Maravich Center box office one hour prior to the game. It is a student priority point game for LSU students. Current LSU students are admitted into the game free with a valid LSU ID.
The game will not be televised but can be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network on Talk 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge or in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net/live. In-game updates are available via Twitter at www.Twitter.com/LSUwbkb.
The Lady Tigers, who received 10 votes in this week's Associated Press poll, extended their season-long winning streak in grand fashion last Sunday with a 77-72 triumph over No. 7 Kentucky. LSU led by as many as 13 points, fired in a season-high seven threes and out-rebounded its seventh consecutive opponent.
The win secured at least a .500 record in Southeastern Conference for the 17th consecutive season. LSU (17-10, 8-6 SEC) has wrapped up at least the No. 7 seed in next week's SEC Tournament in Duluth, Ga., and could possibly secure the No. 6 seed by Sunday.
An LSU win in either of the next two games and one Vanderbilt loss would grant the Lady Tigers the No. 6 seed, which plays at 7:30 p.m. CT Thursday. Should LSU lose one game and Vanderbilt win both of its remaining games, the Lady Tigers would be the No. 7 seed and play at 5 p.m. CT Thursday in the second round.
Regardless of its SEC Tournament seeding, LSU has put itself in solid position for an NCAA Tournament berth with wins over two top-10 teams in the last two weeks and an RPI that has shot up to No. 41 in the nation. LSU is hosting the NCAA Tournament first and second rounds on March 24 and 26, but head coach Nikki Caldwell said there is still a lot to accomplish.
"We want to make sure our team understands that we are taking it one game at a time," said Caldwell. "This team has grown so much in a short period of time. This game Thursday is equally important as the Kentucky game even though there isn't a number in front of our opponent. Alabama is a very good basketball team and they are very capable coming in here. You don't want to have any type of letdown.
"Our emotions will be high with senior night, but I have talked to our team about how they want to finish this regular season. We need to make a statement going into the SEC Tournament of who we are and how we are going to play LSU basketball."
Alabama has endured a tough SEC season, losing eight in a row and entering Thursday's game with a 12-15 overall record and 2-12 mark in conference play. The Crimson Tide has lost 15 in a row to LSU. Alabama's last win over the Lady Tigers was on Feb. 24, 2002, in Tuscaloosa, and the Tide has not won in Baton Rouge since Feb. 3, 1998.
LSU seniors Bianca Lutley and Adrienne Webb have played a vital role in the Lady Tigers' success. Lutley is coming off back-to-back 15-point games, including a clutch lay-up late in the Kentucky win. She is back up to double-figures in scoring with 10.0 points per game.
"I'm very proud of our two seniors," said Caldwell. "They have definitely made our team better because of their leadership. Adrienne Webb has a work ethic that you can't teach. Bianca Lutley is having the best season of her career. Both of them are getting their college degrees on time and that is the most important thing out of all of this."
Webb is second on the team in scoring and ninth in the SEC with 13.8 points per contest. She has recorded 155 career threes, which is fifth in LSU history. Both Lutley and Webb began their LSU careers with an NCAA Tournament berth as freshmen, and they hope to continue that legacy this season with another trip to the postseason.
Theresa Plaisance is tied for the SEC lead in scoring with 17.8 points per game, and she ranks 11th nationally in blocks with 2.9. Plaisance is seventh in LSU single-season blocks with 77 on the year.
Danielle Ballard is just four steals away from tying Joyce Walker's all-time freshman record for steals. Ballard enters the Alabama game with 82 on the season, which is second nationally among all freshmen and leads the overall SEC. Ballard is also 11 steals away from tying the LSU single-season record held by Marie Ferdinand.
Jeanne Kenney delivered the best game of her career last time out, firing in a career-high 22 points and 5-of-5 threes to lead the Lady Tigers past Kentucky. Kenney made her first six shots and missed only one field goal despite playing on a sore foot.