Tennessee Ends Lady Tigers Win Streak, 73-65

LSU's Latear Eason
LSU's Latear Eason
Hilary Scheinuk
Associated Press
Associated Press
Associated Press

BATON ROUGE -- Tennessee's Glory Johnson and Kelley Cain scored a game-high 19 points apiece and the fifth-ranked Lady Volunteers withstood a late rally to snap the LSU women's basketball team's winning streak at six games by a score of 73-65 in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams on Sunday afternoon in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

LSU (10-5, 0-1 SEC) lost for the first time since an 81-51 setback at No. 1 Connecticut on Nov. 28 after putting together an unblemished record in the month of December. The Lady Tigers saw an eight-game SEC opener winning streak come to an end but it was the first time the two teams have met in a league opener since 2001.

Tennessee (13-2, 1-0), the predicted league champion by the media and coaches, won its 14th straight SEC opener dating back to 1997. The Lady Vols won their fourth game overall in a row since losing on the road to Baylor last month.

Cain had eight rebounds and four blocks, while Johnson delivered a double-double off the bench with 15 boards. Cain was the catalyst for the Lady Vols inside game, which outscored LSU 46-22 in the paint and out-rebounded the Lady Tigers, 42-31, for the game.

"I'm really pleased with our team today," said LSU head coach Van Chancellor. "I thought that we played hard, gave it all we had and they just played well. They have a really good team. When it came down to the game, they made free throws and we couldn't. I think (Kelly) Cain scores against us well. She had a great game, but she is a load for us to guard."

LaSondra Barrett led LSU with 15 points and Courtney Jones had 10 points off the bench. LSU nearly recovered from a 15-point deficit in the second half that was sparked by the play of freshman Jeanne Kenney, who knocked down a career-high three three-pointers as part of an 11-point effort.

LSU, the SEC leader in free throw percentage a season ago, was coming off a signature victory over No. 8/9 UCLA in Los Angeles on Tuesday after shooting 18-of-22 from the charity stripe. Free throw shooting woes proved to be the difference in the game as the Lady Tigers shot 12-of-22 (54.5 percent) to Tennessee's 19-of-23 (82.6 percent).

LSU saw a 17-10 lead with 11:31 left in the first half evaporate. The Lady Vols outscored the Lady Tigers, 25-12, the remainder of the half and took a 35-29 advantage into the locker room. The lead grew to 14 points six minutes into the second stanza on three consecutive paint buckets by Cain.

Senior guard Katherine Graham, who struggled from the floor with an 0-for-6 day, was subbed out for Kenney who made the most of the opportunity in her first LSU-Tennessee rivalry game. Kenney buried three consecutive three-pointers and turned the once lopsided deficit into a 51-44 game with 10:16 left on the clock. Her final trey was nailed from the right baseline.

LSU pulled within 55-50 with 7:49 to go when Adrienne Webb knocked down a jumper in the lane. Freshman Shanece McKinney kept LSU in striking distance on a lay-up, but the Lady Vols put the game away with a 9-2 run over the next four minutes.

Lay-ups by Courtney Jones and Jeanne Kenney in the final minute were too little too late as Tennessee finished off its third win in a row over LSU.

The Lady Tigers play three of their next four SEC games on the road starting at 6 p.m. CT Thursday at South Carolina. The game will be televised by Fox Sports Net and carried on the LSU Sports Radio Network.


Opening Statement ...
"I'm really pleased with our team today. I thought that we played hard, gave it all we had and they just played good. They have a really good team. When it came down to the game, they made free throws and we couldn't. I think (Kelly) Cain scores against us well. She had a great game, but she is a load for us to guard."

On not making free throws ...
"We shot more free throws, field goals, three-pointers since coming back from UCLA. We changed our routine around this week by shooting first and then watching tapes. We shot more free throws this week than we have all year."

On Tennessee's ability to score in the paint ...
"I thought they would dominate us in points in the paint. I didn't think our on-ball defense was good enough. I thought Tennessee penetrated to the basket. We've had two problems all year. First, Tennessee shot three free throws in the first half and 20 in the second half. I cannot get us away from fouls and just making free throws. I give Tennessee credit. They did a really good job. (Kamiko) Williams came in for them, and (Glory) Johnson came in a was just outstanding. Give them credit for doing some really good things."

On Tennessee's depth ...
"Their biggest factor is that they don't have any bad players. Whoever they sub in does a great job. They have so much competition for playing time that you may get the opportunity to play, or the opportunity may not come for another game. This is about the deepest team I've seen in college basketball in a long time."

On Jeanne Kenney's performance ...
"Tennessee went into a zone, and we subbed based upon that. I think Kenney got them out of the zone for a while. The zone had been hurting us, so it was good to see Jeanne Kenney make some shots."

On Tennessee's 3-point shooters ...
"We didn't give them very many looks, but they didn't need to shoot the three tonight when you have players like (Kelley) Cain and (Glory) Johnson that can score."

LSU Player Quotes

LaSondra Barrett

On the performance ...
"Our effort and energy coming out was great. We had a lot of support from the bench and from coaches and each other on the court. We just played team basketball and we just have to play that way for 40 minutes."

On the free throws ...
"That is what we talked about in the locker room after the game. Free throws and boxing out hurt us. We realized that we were 12-24 and that if we made a couple of those it would have been a much closer game."

Katherine Graham

On free throws ...
"I don't know what it was. We just have to come back in practice and work on being consistent, not just with free throws, but other aspects of the game as well. Free throws we know will help us win games, as we proved against UCLA. We are going to have to improve on that before playing South Carolina."

On what makes Tennessee a great team ...
"They just have tremendous athletes. At any point in the game they can play all five positions at over six feet. Lots of times they can cause matchup problems with teams in this conference. They have great post players and guards. They are just a well-rounded team. You have to play your "A game" at all five positions and off the bench as well."

Jeanne Kenney

On her mindset ...
"My mindset was to score. I came in the game to score. We ran some really good plays that got me open, especially in the zone. The ball movement helped a lot in the zone and we moved the ball really well and found the open player."

On what she learned about the rivalry with Tennessee ...
"I learned that our goal is to beat Tennessee. Tennessee is a great team. We competed hard and Coach Chancellor told us that in the locker room. We competed. We are sad that we lost the game, and we have to bring the same intensity against South Carolina and for the rest of the season."


Opening statement...
"Obviously when you go on the road and play an opponent like LSU you know it's going to be a battle, and it was. I'm really pleased with our defensive intensity. I thought we did a lot of things that were very positive for us. To be 19 for 23 from the free throw line was big as well as getting paint points and getting in there and doing what we had to do. Overall, board play, 42 boards, that right there tells you that we're battling hard on the glass. I'm just really proud for our team. They had grit and they hung in there. They fought every possession. It was obviously a big win for this team."

On the run in the 1st period after being down seven points...
"That was huge. It gave us a lot of momentum. We really got up and down. We wanted a fast paced game and we didn't exactly start out that way. Once we talked about that, they were up and down. I think LSU prefers maybe a little bit more of a slowed down game but then they picked their pace up as well. I'm just pleased we could keep that pace and still be efficient offensively and still get after it on the defensive end."

On rebounds...
"You have to do that when you go on the road. We didn't have all the fans we typically have at home, that's for sure. We did have some orange in the stands. You just have to have that mindset. I always say, defensive boards is where you win championships because you never know when you're going to have an off shooting night, and if you do you have to have something to fall back on and that's our defensive board play."

On the depth the team showed today...
"I think depth has been very, very good to us. We know we can keep bodies fresh and rotate them. Kelley [Cain] did a great job. I told her she can have tomorrow off, but she still has to be around the team and practice. I'm really proud of her. I wasn't sure if she was going to be able to go today, and I told Jenny [Moshak] I don't know if we can win without her. Jenny said she could play, and she obviously played very well."


C Kelley Cain

On guarding with Glory Johnson...
"I'd hate to be on the opposite team. I wouldn't want to guard us either. When Glory [Johnson] has the confidence that she had today, and how she finished, 8 of 13, that just shows how good our post play is as long as we get our post touches in. we have composure. The level that Glory played today stepped everyone else's game up around her. Whenever she plays at that level, she makes everyone 10 times better."

F Glory Johnson

On making her first few shots...
"I think it helps our whole team. Sometimes we're not hitting shots and not hitting outside shots and posts aren't really getting the touches they want to. Then we start rushing and causing turnovers. When anyone hits any shots back-to-back in a row like that, we all gain confidence."

On free throw shooting today...
"I think we finally hit our free throws consistently, including myself. It's not that we don't shoot at least 300 a week, it's just mental. Once it gets in our head that we're not going to miss, we don't miss. Once we miss one, we can't dwell on that for the rest of the game. Staying positive with each other, we know we can hit our free throws. We shoot so many every day, including in and out of practice. Just mentally we have to positive with ourselves and stay confident and know that we're going to hit our free throws."

F Alicia Manning

On the team's depth...
"I think that our depth has proved several times this year that we're really strong. Coach can put anyone out there and the level of intensity won't drop. With three of our starters going into foul trouble, obviously we knew we had to step up. I think we did what we were supposed to do. Then in the second half, the starters got back in and once again coach subbed us in and out, kept fresh legs out there, and it really paid off."




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