Lady Tigers Face Georgia for SEC's No. 3 Seed
ATHENS, Ga. - The No. 3 seed for next week's Southeastern Conference Tournament will be on the line at 4 p.m. CT Sunday as the LSU women's basketball team takes its six-game winning streak to 16th-ranked Georgia in the regular season finale for both teams in Stegeman Coliseum.
The contest will be televised nationally on ESPN2 and ESPN3.com. The LSU Sports Radio Network will carry it on WBRP-FM 107.3 in Baton Rouge and to members of the Geaux Zone on LSUsports.net/live.
The winner of Sunday's game will lock up a first round bye in the SEC Tournament, receive the No. 3 seed and take on the winner of the No. 6 seed-No. 11 seed game at approximately 9 p.m. CT Friday in the quarterfinals in Nashville's Bridgestone Arena.
The loser of Sunday's game would still have an opportunity to receive a first round bye and the No. 4 seed if South Carolina defeats Arkansas in Columbia. An LSU loss and an Arkansas win, however, would grant the Lady Tigers the fifth seed and a first round matchup with the No. 12 seed at 6:30 p.m. CT Thursday.
LSU (20-8, 10-5 SEC) is playing its best basketball of the season, streaking to six consecutive SEC wins, which ties for the fifth longest SEC win streak in school history. It's the longest since the 2008 Final Four team went a perfect 14-0. During the streak, the Lady Tigers are holding opponents to 33.4 percent shooting and 49.2 points per game. LSU is also getting to the line at an astounding pace, firing in 52-of-67 for 77.6 percent in the last six contests.
"Our team continues to get it done down the stretch, winning some big ballgames against quality basketball teams" said LSU head coach Nikki Caldwell. "That's a testimony to the strength of the SEC. Georgia is another one of those quality teams and well coached. They understand what is at stake and it will be senior night for them. There will be a lot of emotions in this game."
Georgia, ranked 18th in the Associated Press poll and 16th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll, blasted Ole Miss, 87-52 on Thursday for its fifth win in the last six games. The Lady Bulldogs are 21-7 overall, 10-5 in league play and have won three in a row in Stegeman Coliseum.
Four of their five starters are scoring in double-figures led by Jasmine Hassell, who is putting up 13.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. In SEC only contests, Anne Marie Armstrong leads the way with 13.5 points and 6.7 boards per game.
LSU closed out its regular season home slate on Thursday, improving to 4-0 against ranked teams in the Maravich Center with a 69-66 win over No. 24 Vanderbilt. It represented LSU's first undefeated regular season at home against ranked teams since 2005-06.
"Defensively, we played a better game than the first meeting," said Caldwell. "Our team has become more serious about its defense and everyone is taking pride in it. I couldn't be more pleased of how we are executing late in games by getting to the free throw line and dominating the boards."
Senior forward LaSondra Barrett has been dominant on both ends of the floor, producing back-to-back double-doubles for the first time since her sophomore season. Barrett is tied for the SEC lead in double-doubles in SEC games with six. In SEC contests, she has jumped to second in rebounding (8.4 rpg) and eighth in scoring (13.3 ppg). She needs just eight points to become the 13th all-time leading scorer in LSU history and one made free throw to become second in LSU history.
Junior guard Adrienne Webb is averaging 11.0 points during the win streak and she is up to 9.6 points per game overall.
This is the first meeting between the two teams this season and LSU has won three out of the last four meetings. The Lady Tigers held Georgia to its fewest point total ever in an SEC game last season in a 47-41 win in the Pink Game in Baton Rouge. LSU has held Georgia under 50 points in the last three meetings and the two teams have played two straight games in the 40-point range.