Lady Tigers Take on Penn State for Sweet 16 Berth
BATON ROUGE -- The LSU women’s basketball team seeks its first Sweet 16 berth since 2008 as the No. 6 seed Lady Tigers square off in an NCAA Tournament second round rematch against eighth-ranked and No. 3 seed Penn State at 8:45 p.m. CT Tuesday in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
The contest will be televised by ESPN2, ESPN3.com and the Watch ESPN App. The LSU Sports Radio Network will carry it on Talk 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge and to members of the Geaux Zone on www.LSUsports.net/live. In-game updates are available at www.Twitter.com/LSUwbkb.
Tickets are on sale at www.LSUtix.net. The Maravich Center box office opens at 7 p.m. on the upper ramps. LSU students are admitted free of charge with a valid LSU ID. New Orleans’ own 610 Stompers will perform at halftime.
The winner of the LSU-Penn State contest will advance to the Spokane, Wash., regional semifinal on Saturday and play the winner of No. 10 seed South Florida and No. 2 seed California.
“If this team wants to win tomorrow night, we cannot play the same way we did last year,” said LSU head coach Nikki Caldwell. “We can't rest on the fact that we could of, would of, should of. We have to totally erase last year and focus in on who we are today and who we will be tomorrow. We are a totally different team.
“This team has learned to play through adversity, but also, to smack it back. That’s something that last year's team, we didn't do that all the time.”
LSU (21-11) buried a season-high nine threes to snap No. 20 Green Bay’s 24-game winning streak by a score of 75-71 in the first round on Sunday night. It represented the Lady Tigers’ 15th consecutive NCAA first round victory, and now LSU seeks to advance even further after dropping its last three second round games dating back to 2008.
Penn State (26-5) pulled away from No. 14 seed Cal Poly, 85-55, in its first round contest to set up a familiar second round matchup with LSU that occurred on March 20 last season. The Lions put together a 9-3 run late to eliminate the Lady Tigers 90-80 in Caldwell’s first season. They feature junior guard Maggie Lucas, who averages 20.5 points per game and poured in 30 points against LSU last season.
Lucas and LSU junior forward Theresa Plaisance are just two of the marquee players who will be on the floor Tuesday night. Plaisance contributed 16 points in the win over Green Bay. She was one of four Lady Tigers who reached double-digits as LSU continues to use a balanced attack offensively.
Senior guard Adrienne Webb upped her season scoring average to 14.2 points per game. Webb has combined for eight threes in her last two games, and she is LSU’s leading scorer in the last five contests, averaging 16.2 points per game and producing double-figures in each.
“Adrienne Webb is playing like a woman on a mission,” said Caldwell. “Then we have a phenomenal freshman in Danielle Ballard and if everybody else can see what we see and we feel that's capable of, this team, they can do anything once they put their mind but more importantly, their hearts to it.”
Webb collided with junior guard Jeanne Kenney on an inbounds play in the final minute of Sunday’s game. Kenney is questionable for Tuesday night’s game after suffering a head injury and a decision on her availability will be made on Tuesday.
Junior forward Shanece McKinney is expected to once again play a pivotal role. McKinney scored seven points, grabbed six rebounds and provided two highlight-reel blocks against Green Bay.
Penn State leads the all-time series with LSU, 4-2, and the Lady Tigers are aiming to snap a five-game losing streak to Big Ten Conference opponents.