BATON ROUGE – The No. 14 LSU women’s basketball team continues its stretch of three consecutive Thursday home games as Mississippi State visits the Maravich Center.
Thursday’s tip time is on-tap for 7 p.m. and will be carried by Cox Sports Television with Lyn Rollins and Victor Howell set to call the action.
The LSU Sports Radio Network will broadcast the game on Talk 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge. Live video and live audio also will be available for Geaux Zone subscribers at www.LSUsports.net/live. Patrick Wright, the voice of the Lady Tigers, along with Jeff Palermo will have the radio call.
Tickets are on-sale at http://www.lsutix.net/ starting as low as $2. The Mississippi State game can be paired with any remaining home game as part of a four-game “Purple Pack.” The $20 package includes a 200-level reserved ticket.
It’s “Stars and Stripes Military Appreciation Night,” with a military band performing at halftime. The first 1,000 fans to Thursday’s contest will receive an “Earned Never Given” t-shirt. There will be three pickup areas inside the arena for the t-shirts in the main concourse Fan Zone outside of Portal F and the Lower Southwest Tunnel in addition to the Legends Club for Lady Tiger Elite members.
LSU (16-4, 5-2 SEC) is coming off back-to-back wins over Auburn and Ole Miss last week. The Lady Tigers scored the final nine points of their 66-56 victory over Ole Miss and forced the Rebels to misfire on their last 15 field goal attempts. LSU has won four of their last five games and sit in third-place tie in the SEC standings.
“We’ve got to have consistency,” head coach Nikki Caldwell said. “We’ve got to have players really committed to playing our defense and not deviating from it. We’ve got to be consistent on the boards. Offensively, I like seeing a balanced attack. I like seeing multiple players scoring double digits. I like when we’re able to go to our bench and have them give us quality minutes. Taking care of the basketball has been a nemesis for us. If we can clean that area up, I think it would be good thing for us.”
Theresa Plaisance, the reigning SEC Player of the Week, has ripped off a team-leading 14.6 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. She has registered double figures in her last 10 outings and raised her average to 17.6 points per game in conference play which is fourth-best in the SEC rankings. Plaisance has tallied back-to-back double-doubles for the second time in his career.
“Theresa is a player that has a lot of weapons,” Caldwell said. “She can score the basketball multiple ways. I’m more impressed by the fact that’s she’s been able to get on the offensive glass and get those put backs for us. I’m also impressed with her ability to make the extra pass and find her teammates. She’s playing very unselfish. By doing so, she’s able to put us in a position to win every night.”
Jeanne Kenney has tallied 11.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. She has buried 42.3 percent of her three-pointers, good enough for second place in the SEC rankings. Kenney’s 3.8 assists are tied for 10th among the SEC leaders.
Raigyne Moncrief has added 10.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.1 steals per game. She’s the only player to start all 20 of LSU’s game, and the 10.7 points per game are fifth on the SEC freshmen leaderboard. Moncrief equaled a career-high with nine rebound and notched five steals at Ole Miss.
Danielle Ballard has come away with 9.5 points, 6.3 points and 3.3 assists per game. She’s started the last nine games for the Lady Tigers and produced four of her seven 10-plus point efforts during that stretch. Ballard’s has made 41.2 percent of her field goal attempts and posted 1.3 assist-to-turnover ratio in SEC action.
Shanece McKinney has put together three double figures in three outings in her last five games. For the season, she has secured 7.8 points and 1.5 blocks per game. LSU has won all seven games this season which McKinney has scored 10-plus points.
Last time out, Mississippi State (15-6, 2-5 SEC) picked up a 69-62 overtime victory over Missouri. Martha Alwai has amassed 15.5 points per game on a crisp 53.4 percent shooting clip. She also has hauled in 8.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game. Kendra Grant (12.4 PPG) and Dominique Dillingham (10.5 PPG) also have secured double figures for the Bulldogs.
The Lady Tigers have won 45 of the 51 all-time meetings with Mississippi State which includes seven straight victories dating back to the 2008-09 season.
“Mississippi State has a balanced attack, and they do a nice job of trying to disrupt you defensively with their pressure,” Caldwell said. “Taking care of the basketball is going to be key as well as taking care of the boards. Martha is that type of player that is an emotional leader for them. She’s doing a nice job of establishing herself as a go-to. She’s expanding her range to the mid-post/high-post area. She’s also a great shot blocker and has an ability to alter shots. We’ve got to be strong in our attack and establishing our inside play.”
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.