Short-Handed Lady Tigers' Streak Snapped at SEC's
DULUTH, Ga. - No. 12 Georgia built a double-digit first half lead and had five players score in double-figures as the 22nd-ranked LSU women's basketball team saw its win streak end at seven games with a 71-53 loss in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Southeastern Conference Tournament on Friday night in the Gwinnett Center.
Georgia (25-5) avenged its regular season loss to LSU - when the win streak began -- and did so by holding the Lady Tigers to 29.0 percent shooting and scoring 30 points in the paint. The Lady Bulldogs did a stellar job defensively inside on LSU, forcing the Lady Tigers to take jump shots for most of the game.
"A lot of credit to Georgia and the execution of their game plan," said LSU head coach Nikki Caldwell. "We are not going to let this define who we are. We are a team that can beat some of the best teams in the country. Georgia had our number tonight. This was not our best performance by any stretch. We didn't knock down shots and didn't defend."
LSU (20-11) has put together an impressive resume with three wins over top-15 teams, a top-35 NCAA RPI and 10 wins during SEC play. They await an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, which will be announced on Selection Monday on March 18 at 6 p.m. CT live on ESPN.
"I am going to make it my job personally to not let these seniors go out like this," said junior forward Theresa Plaisance, who registered double-figures for the 30th straight game with 13 points and seven rebounds. "We are going to take these two weeks and put a lot of work into the things we struggled with. These seniors deserve the best because they have given a lot to this program and the school."
LSU is hosting the first and second rounds in the Maravich Center on Sunday, March 24 and Tuesday, March 26. All-session ticket books are available at www.LSUtix.net or by calling the LSU Athletic Ticket Office at (225) 578-2184.
Georgia's Jasmine Hassell finished 9-of-12 from the floor for 19 points, while Tiaria Griffin connected for five threes. Shacobia Barbia collected a double-double on 11 points and 10 boards.
Adrienne Webb played her final career SEC Tournament game for LSU and scored in double-figures for the eight consecutive tourney game dating back to her sophomore season. She finished with a team-high 16 points. Freshman Danielle Ballard added 10 points and one steal, tying Marie Ferdinand (1999-2000) for the LSU single-season record with 93.
Georgia scored the game's first six points and the lead grew to double-digits midway through the stanza. With 6:26 to go in the half and the Lady Bulldogs leading 29-15, Shanece McKinney had to leave the game after a collision on the floor. She missed the remainder of the contest with a head injury and the Lady Tigers were forced to play with seven players.
"When you lose Shanece McKinney, I do think that played a role," said Caldwell. "She's one of our best defenders and we missed her on the boards. We had to play small against a very talented team. We hope to get her back and get back to what got us here in the first place, which is how we defended."
Lutley and Plaisance hit threes prior to the end of the first half as Georgia held a 40-30 advantage into the locker room. They increased the margin in the second half. After Webb hit a three with 13:18 to go, Griffin answered with another trey.
The Lady Bulldogs out-rebounded LSU 46-36 for the game and finished at 45.2 percent shooting with 20 assists.
Georgia will face Kentucky in the tournament semifinals on Saturday. The Wildcats defeated Vanderbilt on Friday.