Women's Basketball Renews Alabama Rivalry

LSU head coach Nikki Caldwell
LSU head coach Nikki Caldwell
Kyle Zedaker
Matt Dunaway
Matt Dunaway

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The LSU women’s basketball team turns the calendar to March and looks to build some momentum heading into next week’s SEC Tournament as the Lady Tigers take on Alabama for a Sunday matinee.

Tip time is slated for 1 p.m. from Foster Auditorium, and the game will be carried on the affiliates of SEC-TV along with http://www.watchespn.com/. In Baton Rouge, the game will be live on WBXH-TV Channel 16 on Cox Cable. The LSU Sports Radio Network will broadcast the game on Talk 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge and inside the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net/live. Patrick Wright, the voice of the Lady Tigers, will have the radio call.

It’s the regular season finale for LSU (18-10, 7-8 SEC) and Alabama (13-15, 6-9 SEC). Aside from No. 1 seed South Carolina and No. 14 seed Ole Miss, no other seed has been locked up for the SEC Tournament. The Lady Tigers head into Sunday’s action tied with Vanderbilt and Auburn for sixth place as only one game separates the No. 6 position from the No. 11 spot.  

LSU nearly pulled off a miraculous comeback and erased a 21-point halftime deficit before being dealt a 72-67 defeat to No. 10 Tennessee. The Lady Tigers have dropped five straight games for the first time since the 1994-95 season. Four of the five decisions have come by five points or less. Last time out, the Crimson Tide were handed a 70-65 double overtime setback by Auburn.

“If you said that we were going to play this game of basketball for 30 minutes, we’d probably be undefeated,” head coach Nikki Caldwell said. “This team has resilience about themselves, they have competitiveness about themselves and they have a determination about themselves. It showed that we’re a team that never gives up. It showed a team that was able to come back from adversity and put themselves in a position to win. We’re going to focus in on that.”

Theresa Plaisance has turned in team-highs with 15.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. She’s reeled off 18 consecutive games in double figures and provided 17.1 points per game in league play. The New Orleans native has tallied 142 of her 257 points in the second half and tallied all four of 20-point effort versus SEC opponents. She posted 20 points and 11 rebounds last time out against Tennessee.

Raigyne Moncrief has notched 10.9 points per game which is fifth among SEC freshmen. After missing the Arkansas game due to injury, she came off the bench during the Tennessee game. Moncrief has connected on 37-of-85 from the floor in her last nine outings.

Jeanne Kenney has posted 11.6 points per game and buried 49 of her team-best 63 three-pointers over her last 18 games. She’s knocked down 41.4 percent of triple attempts, second-highest on the SEC leaderboard. Kenney tallied 21 points and a season’s best five steals versus Tennessee.

Danielle Ballard has come away with 8.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. She has garnered a trio 20-point scoring performances on the road during SEC action. Ballard has averaged 12.5 points per game over seven games on SEC Sunday’s but has been limited to eight points over her last two outings.

DaShawn Harden has started LSU’s last two games and stepped up with 9.0 points per game. She poured in 10 points against Tennessee and is 8-for-16 from the floor during the two-game stretch.

Under the direction of first-year coach Kristy Curry, Alabama has won two of its last three and is looking for its seventh SEC victory on the season. The last time the Crimson Tide won seven SEC contests was during the 2001-02 season.

Alabama is being led by Shafontaye Myers, Daisha Simmons and Ashley Williams. The trio has accounted for 60.5 percent of the Crimson Tide points on the season. Myers has racked up a team-leading 14.2 points per game and enters Sunday’s game 26 points away from 1,000 for her career. Williams has pulled down 6.4 rebounds per game whereas Simmons has distributed 4.2 assists per game.

LSU has emerged with a 35-16 series advantage over the Crimson Tide on the strength of 16 consecutive victories in the series dating back to the 2001-02 campaign. Adrienne Webb and Bianca Lutley combined for 33 points to fuel the Lady Tigers 76-42 win over Alabama last season. 

“Alabama is very good and play extremely well on their home floor,” Caldwell said. “They have guards that can shoot the basketball. We’re going to have to take our intensity and apply it on the defensive end. We disrupted a very good offensive team in Tennessee, and we did a very good job of keeping a very good offensive team off the glass in the second half. That’s what we need to bring with us to Alabama. We’ve got to defend, and we’ve got to rebound the basketball. I saw a team believe in that, and that’s what got us back into the game. I think this team can make up their minds and go into Alabama with hard-nosed defense for 40 minutes. It’s really a choice and an attitude. They have it in them, and we have to get it at the start. We’re going to show them why they were successful so they can carry it over into Sunday.”

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.




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