BATON ROUGE, La. --- The LSU women’s basketball team closed its nonconference portion of the schedule at 11-2 with a 93-40 win over Alabama State here at the Maravich Center Wednesday evening.
With the win, the Lady Tigers also extended their winning streak to seven games and posted a 6-0 record in December, marking the first time since the 2011-12 season that LSU was undefeated in the month of December. The last time that LSU scored 90 or more points was a 98-78 victory over Georgia Tech in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
Sophomore Chloe Jackson led LSU’s highest scoring output of the season with a career-high 20 points on an 8-of-10 effort from the field. She hit her first six consecutive shots from the field and also added four free throws. Jackson also registered four steals, a blocked shot and three assists.
Sophomore Shanice Norton, who hit her first five consecutive field goal attempts, added 14 points while junior Raigyne Moncrief had 13 points and five assists. Norton tallied a game-high five steals and Moncrief added four steals in a standout defensive performance that saw the Lady Tigers register a season-high 24 steals overall.
Ayana Mitchell scored 11 points and pulled down a game-high eight rebounds while freshman Jaelyn Richard-Harris scored a career-high nine points off the bench. Richard-Harris hit her first career three pointer in the fourth quarter to mark the first trey for the Lady Tigers since Moncrief hit the game winner against NC State in the Paradise Jam on Nov. 26.
LSU got the game started with a quick 11-0 run that set the pace of the game for the Lady Tigers, who increased their lead to 22-9 by the end of the first quarter behind six points from Moncrief and five points from Jackson.
Jackson then started to heat up, scoring 11 of LSU’s 21 second-quarter points and scoring on her first six field goal attempts of the game.
The Lady Tigers first- and second-quarter scoring outbursts tied season-highs at 22 and 21, respectively, and their 43 combined points were the most in the first half so far this season.
The offensive tear didn’t slow down one bit for LSU coming out of the break as the Lady Tigers outscored Alabama State 27-9 in the third quarter, including a five-and-a-half minute stretch in which the Lady Tigers held Alabama State scoreless while scoring 18 points of their own.
LSU slowly increased its lead over the course of the fourth quarter until a three-pointer from freshman Stephanie Self and two free throws from Yasmine Bidikuindila gave LSU a game-high 53-point lead by the end of the game, marking a season-high in point differential for the Lady Tigers. The three-pointer was Self’s first field goal attempt of the season.
The LSU defense held Alabama State to 40 points, the lowest amount scored by an opponent all season.
This type of resilient defense has been one of LSU’s greatest strengths this season as they currently sit at second in the SEC in steals per game and Moncrief ranks second in the league in steals as well. In three games this season, LSU has forced 30 or more turnovers and have grabbed 20 or more steals.
Against Alabama State, LSU’s 24 steals helped them to a 44-3 advantage in points off of turnovers.
The Lady Tigers will go full steam ahead into Southeastern Conference action, facing No. 5 Mississippi State in Starkville on Sunday, Jan. 1. This is the fourth-straight season that LSU is opening SEC play on the road. The game, which is slated for a 2 p.m. start, will be carried by the SEC Network. LSU’s first home SEC game is against Florida on Thursday, Jan. 5, at 7 p.m. That key league matchup is also the Gold Game and the first 1,000 fans in the doors will receive a free gold t-shirt.
NOTES & TRENDS
• Starters for LSU were Chloe Jackson, Rina Hill, Alexis Hyder, Raigyne Moncrief & Ayana Mitchell. This starting lineup is 6-0 so far this season.
• With the win, LSU is now 4-0 over Alabama State, which includes a 3-0 record at the PMAC.
• LSU is 6-0 in December for the first time since the 2011-12 season.
• With the win over ASU, the Lady Tigers are 57-6 over current members of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). The last time that LSU lost a game to a SWAC team was a 71-64 loss to Southern University on the road on Feb. 18, 1998.
• Chloe Jackson hit her first six shot attempts from the field. She finished the game with a career-high 20 points off 8-of-10 shooting from the field and a 4-of-6 effort from the free-throw line. Her previous high was 19 vs LA Tech in the season opener.
• LSU is now 8-6 in games played on Dec. 28, dating back to the 1976-77 season.
• LSU has won its last seven straight games, marking the first time since the 2013-14 season that the Lady Tigers have strung together seven consecutive victories.
• The Lady Tigers are 11-2 in nonconference play this season.
• Raigyne Moncrief scored 13 points and extended her double-digit scoring streak to 11 games.
• Freshman Jaelyn Richard-Harris hit a three pointer in the fourth quarter to mark the first trey for the Lady Tigers since Raigyne Moncrief hit the game winner against NC State in the Paradise Jam on Nov. 26. Richard-Harris finished the game with a season-high nine points. That was also her first trey in a Lady Tiger uniform. Later in the fourth quarter, freshman Stephanie Self hit a three pointer as LSU was 2-of-4 from behind the arc.
• Sophomore Shanice Norton hit her first five field goal attempts and finished the game with 14 points. She was 6-of-8 from the field and 2-of-2 from the free-throw line.
• LSU has held it opponent to fewer than 50 points in the last four-straight games. It is the first time four-consecutive opponents have been held to 50 or fewer points since the 2011-12 season. LSU did so four-straight games, all against SEC foes (Mississippi State, Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn).
• For the third time this season, LSU has forced its opponent to turn the ball over 30 or more times. In addition, LSU logged a season-best 24 steals and this is the third game the Lady Tigers have grabbed 20 or more steals.
LSU Head Coach Nikki Fargas
“It starts with us playing hard, and tonight I thought we were able to get some great minutes and go really deep into our bench, but there is a lot of work that still needs to be done. As a coach you are never really satisfied. I thought for the most part defensively the effort was there, however I did not think the effort was there in keeping them off the glass. We were not doing a great job of boxing them out and that is a major concern of ours and we have to be better, we have to be more disciplined.”
On LSU’s defensive performance and forcing 33 turnovers…
“We wanted to be aggressive with our trapping, getting deflections and getting steals. We had multiple players who had three or more steals for tonight and to be able to convert those into points at such a high percentage is what you want to do. I think this group is learning that we have to play together and a team that does that can be successful.”
On Chloe Jackson’s consistent performances…
“I think Chloe (Jackson) is finding her niche in our offensive package. She is someone we can run off of ball screens and run her off the baseline. She can play off the bounce and she is showing the versatility of her skills but I like the fact that Chloe is taking better shots. She is not forcing anything, she is taking shots within the offense and she is playing very under control. To have a player like Chloe who can come in and really open up a zone, you tend to start feeding her. She had the hot hand so we kept running play action to her. Like I told her teammates it is not only her making her shots, it may have been Ayana Mitchell posting really hard, or a great screen by Tatum Neubert to get a shot. They really played together as a team.”
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