No. 16 Women's Hoops Set to Battle Tulane
NEW ORLEANS – The No. 16 LSU women’s basketball team will look to build on its recent momentum and squares off with Tulane in its final non-conference game Sunday at Devlin Fieldhouse.
Sunday’s tip time is on-tap for 2 p.m., and the LSU Sports Radio Network will broadcast the game on Talk 107.3 FM in the Baton Rouge. Live audio also can be accessed by Geaux Zone subscribers at LSUsports.net/live. Patrick Wright, the voice of the Lady Tigers, will have the radio call. There is no television for Sunday’s game. Tickets can be purchased by contacting the Tulane Ticket Office at (504) 861-9283 or on-site on gameday.
The Lady Tigers (11-2, 1-0 SEC) are coming off a thrilling 80-77 victory over No. 5 Tennessee during Thursday’s SEC opener. LSU put together a 20-4 run midway through the second half, connected on three of its four free throws inside the final minute and received a key defensive stop on the last possession to secure the victory.
“We have to be ready for our new challenge and not be overly impressed with what we did in Tennessee on Thursday night,” head coach Nikki Caldwell said. “Tulane has great sharpshooters. Their ability to score the basketball is going to be a challenge for our defense. We’re going to have to pressure the ball and control the boards. There’s no doubt it’s going to be a hard fought game. It’s been a game that’s been decided by a few possessions, and our team shouldn’t expect anything different this time around.”
Last time out at Tennessee, LSU had four players register 10-plus points for the third time this season and first since the Indiana State victory on Dec. 3.
Danielle Ballard equaled a career-best with 25 points, and eight of her career-high 11 field goals came off layups during the Tennessee game. She has posted 10.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game for the season. The 25 points for Ballard was the second-highest scoring output by a LSU player on the season. Raigyne Moncrief racked up 27 points versus Rutgers at the Barclays Invitational on Nov. 29.
Theresa Plaisance has collected a team-leading 12.9 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. She has garnered double figures in six of her last seven games and contributed nine of her 15 points during the second half at Tennessee. Last season against Tulane, Plaisance turned in a solid all-around effort with 24 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high eight blocks.
Moncrief will look to bounce back from a season-low three points after playing most of the Tennessee game in foul trouble. However, the freshman guard canned two critical free throws which included the front end of a 1-and-1 with 12 seconds remaining to give LSU its winning margin of 80-77. Moncrief has provided a balanced 12.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.3 steals per game.
Jeanne Kenney has tallied 17.6 points per game and buried 11-of-18 from three-point territory over her last three appearances. She came away with 14 points, five assists and was a flawless 7-for-7 at the free throw line against Tennessee. For the season, Kenney has hit 41.7 percent of her triples which are fourth on the SEC leaderboard.
Shanece McKinney and DaShawn Harden have added 8.4 and 8.0 points per game, respectively. Harden scored all 17 of LSU’s bench points at Tennessee, while McKinney matched a season’s best with three blocks. For Harden, it was her highest scoring performance since the season’s opening weekend.
Tulane (9-3, 0-0 C-USA) has won its last five games dating back to Dec. 8 which includes a 79-72 overtime decision over Virginia and a 51-45 victory against Indiana State on Dec. 29 to win its home tournament. Three players average in double figures led by Danielle Blagg’s 14.5 points per game. Jamie Kaplan and Leslie Vorpahl have chipped in 11.9 and 10.1 points per game for the Green Wave.
LSU has won 28 of the 34 all-time meetings between the two schools, but Tulane has notched three consecutive victories in the series over the last three seasons. The Green Wave has won back-to-back overtime decisions led by Blagg’s 22 points in 2011-12 and Blagg’s 13 points in 2012-13.
For all of the latest news and information on Lady Tiger basketball, visit www.lsusports.net/womensbasketball. Fans can also follow the program on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/lsuwbkb along with @lsuwbkb and @nikkicaldwell on Twitter.