ALICANTE, Spain – Freshmen guards Raigyne Moncrief and Jasmine Rhodes combined for 34 points and senior forward Theresa Plaisance added 18 points as the LSU women’s basketball team dominated from start to finish in a 101-28 exhibition win over the Catholic University of Murcia on Saturday night in Spain.
All nine Lady Tigers who played scored by the 4:05 mark of the second quarter. LSU quickly put the game away with a 15-0 run in the first quarter, holding Murcia scoreless for seven minutes. Murcia managed only four field goals in the first half as the Lady Tigers built a 25-7 lead at the end of the first quarter and a 38-12 advantage at the half.
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“Tonight, our team played together and very unselfish,” said LSU head coach Nikki Caldwell. “We talked about this game being about us and doing the things that we need to do to get better as a team. That’s why you are on this tour. It’s about you growing as a team and maturing over these 11 days. I was very pleased with the play of all nine players.”
Moncrief poured in a game-high 19 points, including 11 in the second half. Rhodes had 15 points and buried two three-pointers. Plaisance took advantage of her size and erupted for 12 points in the second half. Sophomore guard Danielle Ballard was the fourth Lady Tiger in double-figures with 11 points. Freshman guard Rina Hill and sophomore center Derreyal Youngblood added eight points apiece.
LSU’s defense was relentless at the start of the second quarter, forcing Murcia into numerous turnovers and holding them to no field goals in the first eight minutes. They finally got on the board again at the 1:56 mark prior to halftime.
Moncrief delivered eight points in the first half, and she finished off the impressive first stanza with an offensive rebound and reverse layup before the halftime horn sounded. The Lady Tigers did not let up in the third quarter, stretching a 38-12 lead to 65-18 into the fourth quarter with a 17-0 run to start the stanza. Plaisance scored six of the first seven points during the spurt.
The freshmen combined for 29 points in the second half, including 12 from Rhodes who got hot from the outside. Moncrief stole a pass and then went through the lane for an acrobatic layup and she was fouled.
Caldwell singled out the leadership of the team playing a role in the chemistry so early in the year.
“We have great leadership on our senior class and underclassmen,” said Caldwell. “They are all great kids. How can you not get along with some of the hardest working players on the team? They take care of business on the floor and in the classroom and they are great teammates. The freshmen have been great followers.”
The two teams meet again at 7 p.m. Central European Time Sunday (noon CT). It will be LSU’s final game of the Spain tour. The Lady Tigers arrived on the beach in Alicante Saturday afternoon and they will stay here again Sunday night before heading on the final leg of the tour to the Spanish capital of Madrid on Monday.