BATON ROUGE -- The LSU women's basketball team, spurred by a 13-2 run to close the first half, defeated Delta State, 67-47, in an exhibition game on Monday night in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
LSU responded from a sluggish first 14 minutes in which the Lady Tigers shot 33.3 percent on 10-of-30 from the floor. In the second stanza, LSU improved with a 46.9 percent clip while holding the Lady Statesmen to just 36.0 percent on their offensive end.
"We just couldn't make a shot, and when you can't make a shot, that just causes you to have a lot of jitters," said LSU head coach Van Chancellor. "We just couldn't throw one in the Atlantic Ocean right there in the first (half). Then, in the second half we began to shoot better and play better. I thought Delta State was a pesky, little team. If they play like that, they're going to win the national championship in Division II. They're pretty good."
All-Southeastern Conference junior forward LaSondra Barrett carried the Lady Tigers with 14 points in 20 minutes with most of her action coming in the first half. Sophomore guard Adrienne Webb fired in 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting and Courtney Jones had eight points in 13 minutes.
"I thought Webb played well," Chancellor said. "She's had an outstanding fall. I think when you go from where you didn't play any (as a freshman) to 11 points in 21 minutes, no defensive lapses and you didn't turn the ball over, that's pretty good."
Several new faces made their Maravich Center debuts highlighted by Shanece McKinney on the defensive end. McKinney, a standout at LeFlore High School in Mobile, swatted five shots in 10 minutes of action. Louisiana natives Theresa Plaisance and Jeanne Kenney contributed four and six points, respectively.
Delta State, an NCAA Division II Sweet 16 participant last season, committed 23 turnovers that led to 27 points for LSU. Sheena Johnson led the Lady Statesmen with 16 points while Veronica Walker grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.
LSU trailed by as many as six points with 5:19 to go in the first half, but the Lady Tigers answered with a 13-2 spurt ignited by Graham's first bucket of the game on a layup that made it 21-17. LSU scored nine unanswered points. Following a Delta State timeout, Barrett converted back-to-back scores with 2:06 to go.
The Lady Tigers took a 28-23 advantage into the locker room. The lead grew to double-digits four minutes into the second half when Webb drained back-to-back jumpers of her own. Plaisance made her impact immediately when she blocked a shot attempt in her first minute of action.
McKinney contributed five of the Lady Tigers' 10 blocks on the night late in the second half. LSU claimed a 21-point advantage when Kenney buried her first career 3-pointer at the 2:09 mark. Delta State was outscored 39-24 in the second stanza.
LSU officially opens the season on Sunday, Nov. 8, when the Lady Tigers travel to face Big 10 Conference foe Northwestern at 2 p.m. CST in Evanston, Ill. The game will be carried live on the LSU Sports Radio Network in Baton Rouge on 107.3 FM and in the Geaux Zone at LSUsports.net.
LSU vs. Delta State
November 8, 2010
LSU HEAD COACH VAN CHANCELLOR
On the rough start in the first half...
"I'll tell you want happened to us. We just couldn't make a shot, and when you can't make a shot, that just causes you to have a lot of jitters. We just couldn't throw one in the Atlantic Ocean right there in the first (half). Then, in the second half we began to shoot better and play better. I thought Delta State was a pesky, little team. If they play like that, they're going to win the national championship in Division II. They're pretty good."
On if anything surprised him about the newcomers...
"Sometimes you don't get to go in as quick as you want to go in, so when you don't go in as quickly, you have a tendency to get a little down, but I thought they went in and played. (Shanece) McKinney had five blocks in 10 minutes. Theresa (Plaisance) made a lot of good plays, and I think Jeanne Kenney is going to be a heck of a player. All three are going to be really good players."
On if he continued to encourage Jeanne Kenney to shoot even when she struggled...
"I never did tell her to quit shooting. I just thought she was going to make one sooner or later. She's been shooting the ball in practice really good. We're going to let them shoot this year."
On if he will stay with the same starting five for the next game...
"Yes, but after that game, that lineup is subject to change at halftime. If you want to know what I think one of our problems is at this time, we've got a lot of players playing, and we can't find any consistency in practice or in the pre-season. I'm going to have to make up my mind somewhere in here, but right now I don't have any visual evidence. They tell you in football that you have to have visual evidence to overturn a call. I don't have any visual evidence that I can see in practice that would decide who ought to be playing."
On Adrienne Webb's performance...
"I thought Webb played good. She's had an outstanding fall. I think when you go from where you didn't play any to 11 points in 21 minutes, no defensive lapses and you didn't turn the ball over, that's pretty good. That's pretty good. She's had a great camp."
On the rough start to the game...
"I think it was a little bit of jitters. Just being out there for the first time and we had a couple of new starters out on the floor. It was just getting back into the flow of the game. Its kind of what you expect. We came out and I know that I rushed a couple shots, and missed a couple that later on in the season will be easy buckets. It's good that we picked it up. We found our groove and came back. We got a lot of contributors off of the bench that came in there and got us some key baskets and key defensive stops."
On the impact of the freshman...
"What I've always said from the beginning of the year is that we brought them in because that is what we were lacking: size and outside shooting. I really thought the two post players, Theresa Plaisance and Shanece McKinney, came in and gave great minutes scoring buckets, getting rebounds and blocking shots. At the beginning Jeanne (Kenney) didn't shoot the ball that well, but she showed how much passion she has in the game. She's not just a shooter. She had a lot of deflections, defensive steals and got her hand on the ball. Eventually she found her rhythm. I think this is just the first of everyone seeing what they can do."
On what the team needs to work on...
"Coach says we're either playing hard or we're playing defense, that's all we can do. One thing he talked about was how Northwestern is different then the team we played tonight, So we just have to keep our mindset that they're all shooters. We need to take the three balls away from them and punish them inside. I'm sure this week we'll work on the offense, but where it starts is defense and playing hard. That is where we get our wins."
On coming back from injury...
"It was exciting. I was just really happy to be out there back on the court and contributing to the team. My teammates were there for me and were encouraging me to shoot the ball. It was just fortunate I was able to play and have fun back on the court."
"There were a lot of nerves, but they were encouraging and keeping me going. I've got to get comfortable out there."