LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – After a 12-day hiatus for final exams, the 13th-ranked LSU women’s basketball team will resume its season as the Lady Tigers put their five-game winning streak on the line at Arkansas-Little Rock at 2 p.m. CT Sunday in the Jack Stephens Center.
Members of the Geaux Zone can watch live streaming video of the contest courtesy of Arkansas-Little Rock's website at www.LSUsports.net/live. Patrick Wright will call the action for the LSU Sports Radio Network on Talk 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge. The tipoff show begins at 1:30 p.m.
LSU, ranked 13th this week in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches’ polls, is off to its best start since the 2009-10 season with a 7-1 record and quality wins over Saint Joseph’s, Rutgers and Michigan. Earlier this week, a projected RPI listed the Lady Tigers fifth in the nation and No. 11 nationally in strength of schedule.
LSU last played on Dec. 3 when it beat Indiana State 83-66 for its fifth straight win. With a concentrated study period and final exams for the student-athletes, the Lady Tigers were still able to prepare for the final four non-conference games leading up to the start of Southeastern Conference play on Jan. 2 at Tennessee.
“Our team has done a great job in practice, working extremely hard and they are itching to get back on the floor in a game,” said LSU head coach Nikki Caldwell. “We have focused a lot on improvements but also focused on finishing strong in our academics during this time.”
LSU and UALR are meeting for the first time in women’s basketball. The Trojans (3-3), the defending Sun Belt Western Division champions, have won three of their last four games, including an 82-34 victory over Incarnate Word on Tuesday. Taylor Gault is UALR’s leading scorer with 13.1 points per game.
“Transition defense is going to be key as well as guarding the perimeter,” said Caldwell. “They have players that can penetrate and kick. They are a man-to-man team on the defensive end that can get after you.”
The Lady Tigers have displayed an explosive offense, putting up 75.4 points per game and getting contributions from all 11 players. LSU’s bench has contributed 37 percent of the squad’s points this year.
Freshman guard Raigyne Moncrief is LSU’s leader in scoring with 14.5 points per contest and she leads all freshmen nationally in steals with 25 through the first eight games. She is scoring 16.8 points with 4.0 steals per game during the current winning streak.
Senior forward Theresa Plaisance is tops in rebounding with 6.5 boards per game. Senior center Shanece McKinney is playing the most productive minutes of her career. McKinney has registered three straight double-digit scoring games for the first time in her career, and she has combined for 36 points and 13 boards in the last three contests.
“I like our versatility and I like our depth,” said Caldwell. “We can go with different lineups during the course of the game. Our newcomers have done exceptional job responding to the situations we have put them in.”
The Lady Tigers own a 40-4 record all-time against current Sun Belt Conference members. LSU has won 17 in a row over Sun Belt foes dating back to 1994. This is LSU’s first road game at a Sun Belt school since visiting UL-Monroe on Dec. 15, 1998.