Lady Tigers Ready for Arkansas Rematch
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- The LSU women's basketball team, winners of three straight Southeastern Conference games, seeks to avenge a previous loss to the Arkansas Razorbacks, winners of eight straight games, at 7 p.m. CT Thursday in Bud Walton Arena.
The contest will be televised on Cox Sports Television and it will be carried on the LSU Sports Radio Network on WBRP-FM 107.3 in Baton Rouge and to members of the Geaux Zone on LSUsports.net/live.
The Lady Tigers (17-8, 7-5 SEC) sit in a tie with Vanderbilt for sixth place in the SEC standings with four regular season games remaining. LSU is just one game back of a third place, which is held by three teams - Georgia, Arkansas and South Carolina. The SEC's top four finishers earn a bye in the first round of the SEC Tournament, which gets underway in Nashville in two weeks.
The Razorbacks (19-5, 8-4) own the SEC's longest winning streak and have protected their home floor with a 15-1 record in Bud Walton Arena this season. Arkansas' only home loss was to Tennessee on Jan. 8. They have since won five in a row in Fayetteville and held on to beat Auburn on the road last weekend by a score of 51-48.
For the fifth time on the road this season, LSU rallied from a second-half deficit to post a 51-46 win at Alabama on Sunday. The Lady Tigers trailed 45-40 but finished off the game with an 11-1 run sparked by the play of senior forward LaSondra Barrett.
"We have matured since our last outing against Arkansas," said LSU head coach Nikki Caldwell. "We were coming off an emotional loss with Destini (Hughes) and Jeanne Kenney out. We had no true point guard and no backup point guard and we didn't have Bianca Lutley until the second half of that game. Our guard play is definitely shaping up and looking a lot better."
Barrett has been spectacular in SEC play for LSU. She is averaging 12.9 points and 7.9 rebounds per contest in league games, which ranks eighth and third in the conference respectively. The All-American candidate has scored 17 of LSU's final 19 points combined in the last two games, with a good portion of those points coming at the free throw line. Closing out games has become Barrett's specialty.
"LaSondra Barrett continues to take on a leadership role," said Caldwell. "In the last three games, she's a player that has established getting the ball down the stretch and been very productive. We have been very creative in playing her high to get her low. That puts her back into her power game."
Barrett entered the history books on Sunday, making 13-of-20 free throws, which represented the most made free throws by an SEC player this season. The 20 attempts were the most attempted by an SEC player since Tennessee's Candace Parker shot 21 against Middle Tennessee in December 2007. Barrett is a combined 33-of-43 (76.7) percent in the last four contests.
LSU welcomes the return of freshman forward Krystal Forthan, who missed the last three games recovering from a high left ankle sprain.
Arkansas is led by Ashley Daniels, who is among the SEC's best in scoring and rebounding. Daniels is putting up 11.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game in SEC contests. C'eira Ricketts ranks third in the league in assists with 4.3 per game.
The Razorbacks handed LSU its worst loss of the season on Jan. 22 - a 72-52 decision in Baton Rouge - with the Lady Tigers playing without Destini Hughes (knee) and Jeanne Kenney (concussion). Arkansas has won three in a row over LSU, but the Lady Tigers lead the all-time series in Fayetteville, 11-7.