BATON ROUGE -- Freshman Raigyne Moncrief led four Lady Tigers in double figures scoring with 22 points, as the No. 13 LSU women's basketball team dominated Indiana State, 83-66, for its fifth straight win in front of a mostly kid-filled crowd of 6,105 on Tuesday afternoon in the Maravich Center.
Over 5,000 East Baton Rouge Parish School kids were invited to attend the game as part of a field trip to campus. They showed up loud and proud. Following the win, each Lady Tiger went into the stands to thank those who showed up for the matinee tipoff. Players signed autographs and took photos.
“This was such a fun atmosphere,” said LSU head coach Nikki Caldwell. “To have all of the kids here was special for our team. We talked about that in pregame to our team about the kids coming out. One day they may want to play basketball. I hope we came out and showed to our fans how hard we work and how much fun we have playing this game we love. Thanks to everyone who attended.”
LSU (7-1) put an exclamation mark on its final action prior to final exams. The Lady Tigers will take a five-game winning streak into their next contest which will not be until Dec. 15 at Arkansas-Little Rock. Tuesday’s tilt was the third in five days for LSU, who the Barclays Invitational in Brooklyn, N.Y., last weekend with victories over Rutgers and Michigan.
Moncrief, the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week, shot 8-of-11 from the floor while finishing with nine rebounds, six assists and six steals. It was her second 20-plus point game in her last three games.
“She (Moncrief) did a nice job across the board getting herself to the free throw line, making the extra pass, and really coming up with some steals to get our transition game going,” said Caldwell. “She’s showcasing that she can play on both sides of the basketball. She’s showing that she’s not only an explosive offensive player, but that’s she even more so explosive on the defensive end.”
Senior forward Shanece McKinney earned the start and responded with 13 points – her third consecutive double-figure scoring game – and three blocks. Derreyal Youngblood and Theresa Plaisance each added 10 points. Senior guard Jeanne Kenney grabbed a career-high and game-high 11 rebounds with six assists in 25 minutes.
As a team, LSU’s unselfish play led to 36 made field goals on a season-best 25 assists. The Lady Tigers shot a season-high 54.5 percent from the floor and forced the Sycamores into 23 turnovers.
LSU built a 45-25 halftime advantage highlighted by a 12-2 run midway through the first stanza. Moncrief delivered 15 points in the first half, while Kenney collected eight boards in the first 20 minutes.
Indiana State buried two threes in the first six minutes of the second half to come within 47-36 with 14:43 to play. However, Moncrief and Plaisance took over the game. Following an Anne Pedersen three from the top of the key, Moncrief and Plaisance combined for 12 of LSU’s next 14 points.
McKinney’s layup at the 6:23 mark gave the Lady Tigers their largest advantage, 69-43.
Anna Munn led Indiana State with 24 points on 6-of-13 shooting.
LSU out-rebounded the Sycamores, 47-28, and dominated points in the paint, 54-24.
Head Coach Nikki Caldwell
December 3, 2013
On the up-tempo early start the team had…
“The team really tried to get the transition game going to create some energy in the gym with all the young talent that was here. I know there was a future Tiger in the stands. It was a really great atmosphere. We tried to be very deliberate in our action of making sure that there was no confusion on what we wanted to run. I like the fact that our defense in the first half was really strong and stingy. A lot of credit to Indiana State for really coming back and forcing a lot of action on their end, offensively, by making shots and getting themselves to the free throw line.”
On shooting efficiently and outrebounding Indiana State…
“We wanted to make sure we got ourselves on the offensive glass, but I also felt the first half we did a great job on the offensive glass. They made some adjustments and were able to get themselves on the boards. With our assists, we shared the basketball and made the extra pass, which was great. I just felt like the turnovers, we could have lessened those. I felt like some of those turnovers came because we were trying to hit the home run with the first pass.”
On Jeanne Kenney’s career-high rebounds of 11…
“It’s great to have your guards getting in there getting defensive rebounds. [Jeanne] doesn’t get many offensive rebounds because she’s our safety. But it’s nice to know our inside playing does a really great job of boxing and she’s able to get some boards.”
On Raigyne Moncrief’s 22 points, 9 rebounds, six steals and six assists…
“She did a nice job across the board getting herself to the free throw line, making the extra pass, and really coming up with some steals to get our transition game going. She’s showcasing that she can play on both sides of the basketball. She’s showing that she’s not only an explosive offensive player, but that’s she even more so explosive on the defensive end.”
LSU PLAYER QUOTES
Fr. G Raigyne Moncrief
On whether she is settling in to playing college basketball…
“I’m just getting comfortable with my team. We are just passing the ball. Jeanne Kenney, DaShawn, they all just were able to pass me the ball and give me the open shot. The reason I was able to score the way I did was because they gave me the opportunity.”
On whether this was the team’s best game…
“We are hard on ourselves, so we think we could have done better, but we felt like that was our best game.”
On the team’s expectations for this game…
“Our mindset was just to come in to win. If I got an open layup or I made something happen, I made something happen. Everyone was supposed to come into the game and contribute their part, and it just happened that way.”
Sr. G Jeanne Kenney
On the size advantage…
“They didn’t have any offensive rebounds the first half. We kind of slacked off in the second. But we have 6-4 and 6-5 and 6-3 [players], so when we have our bigs in, we are the biggest out there on the court, against any team really. If you think about it, there aren’t too many 6-4 people who can play together, so we have a really big advantage when that happens, offensively and defensively.
On the physicality…
“It’s definitely something we teach, to be physical. It’s the SEC, and when we get down to business it’s something we have to take care of. Playing physical is how we play and how we want to be known. But then again, making sure that it’s physical but no fouls, because we only have three really big true posts. If we get one of those in foul trouble, that hinders the rest of the team.”
On Raigyne Moncrief…
“Our press break is give it to Rai, let her break it. Her athleticism is absolutely crazy. It’s so nice to play with someone who I can just kick the ball ahead to and she can make a play. She’s been working on her extra passes and getting her teammates involved.”