LSU, Missouri Set for First Meeting Since '89
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- LSU and Missouri meet for the first time as Southeastern Conference opponents as the Lady Tigers seek to continue their stellar defense and aim for a third straight victory at 8 p.m. CT Thursday in Mizzou Arena.
The game will be televised by Fox Sports Net Southwest and it can be viewed on ESPN3.com or the Watch ESPN App on tablets. Dave Baker and Stephanie Ready will handle the call. Patrick Wright will call the action on the LSU Sports Radio Network on Talk 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge. The tipoff show begins at 7:30 p.m. Geaux Zone members can listen to the game at www.LSUsports.net/live.
In-game updates are available via Twitter at www.Twitter.com/LSUwbkb.
With four games remaining in the regular season, LSU is tied with Vanderbilt for sixth place in the league standings at 6-6 in SEC play and 15-10 overall. The Lady Tigers moved back to .500 in the SEC with a dominating defensive outing in a 63-41 win at Mississippi State last Sunday. LSU has out-rebounded its last five opponents - two of which were ranked - and held three consecutive opponents below their scoring average.
Missouri (15-11, 4-8 SEC) has dropped three straight games for the first time this season, including back-to-back double-digit losses to Vanderbilt and Arkansas where they failed to score 50 points. The Tigers, however, have fared well at home this season with a 13-3 mark in Mizzou Arena. Missouri drained 11 threes in an 80-63 win over Tennessee on Feb. 3.
"They shoot a lot of threes, and when they are hitting threes, it's a long night for the opponent," said LSU head coach Nikki Caldwell. "That's what happened in the Tennessee win. They average about 30 attempts. We will have our work cut out for us. We have to contest everything. We cannot allow them to have straight, open looks at the basket."
Bri Kulas is putting up a team-leading 13.2 points per game. Morgan Eye leads the SEC in three-point field goal percentage (41.0) and three-point field goals made per game (3.7). The Tigers are the most prominent three-point shooting team LSU has faced to date, ranking seventh in the nation and tops in the SEC with 8.4 per contest.
"Morgan Eye is deadly from outside," said Caldwell. "Most of her shots are from the three-point line. She gets them going. They are a smart team and it starts with her."
LSU's Theresa Plaisance continues to lead the SEC in scoring with 17.6 points per game. She has scored in double-figures in 24 straight games, and she ranks in the top 11 nationally in blocks with 2.8 per game. Plaisance is eighth in LSU single-season blocks with 71.
Danielle Ballard, the SEC Freshman of the Week for the fourth time this season, is coming off a 19-point game at Mississippi State. Ballard continues to inch closer to the LSU all-time freshman record for steals held by Joyce Walker. She heads into Thursday night's game with 78, just eight shy of tying the freshman record. That total ranks second nationally among all freshmen.
Jeanne Kenney is up to second in the SEC in assist-to-turnover ratio in SEC games, dishing out an efficient 54 assists to only 23 turnovers. Adrienne Webb is second on the team in scoring with 13.9 points per game.
LSU and Missouri are meeting for the first time since Nov. 27, 1989, when LSU won 56-50 in the only meeting between the two teams in Columbia. None of the current Lady Tigers were born yet when they last faced each other. The series has played to a 2-2 tie.