Lady Tigers Return from Break to Face Tulane
BATON ROUGE - In a series that has been decided by a combined five points in the last two contests, the LSU women's basketball team renews its in-state rivalry with the Tulane Green Wave at 2 p.m. CT Sunday in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
The contest will be carried live on CST (Cox Sports Television HD channel 1037 in Baton Rouge) with Lyn Rollins and Victor Howell handling the call. Patrick Wright will call the action on the LSU Sports Radio Network on 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge and to members of the Geaux Zone on www.LSUsports.net/live. Live streaming HD video is also available to members of the Geaux Zone. In-game updates are available via Twitter at www.Twitter.com/LSUwbkb.
The first 500 fans in attendance on Sunday will receive a free set of 2012-13 LSU Lady Tiger trading cards. There will be a postgame autograph session with the team on the concourse of the Maravich Center.
Doors open at 1 p.m. On gameday, tickets are available to purchase on the upper ramps of the Maravich Center. In addition, between now and Dec. 31, all-session ticket books to the 2013 NCAA Tournament first and second rounds hosted by LSU are available for a special price of $15.
The Lady Tigers (4-2), winners of three straight, are returning to action for the first time since an 81-73 win over NC State last Sunday in the Maravich Center. LSU players took final exams during the week and practiced. Beginning Sunday, LSU will play five games over the next 13 days all at home.
Tulane (6-1) has also had a week to prepare for the game since defeating UNC-Wilmington, 73-58, on Dec. 2 in New Orleans. The Green Wave reeled off five consecutive wins to start the season before losing its only contest at home to Auburn by a score of 70-65 on Nov. 28.
"Anytime there is a rivalry game this time of year, you know it is going to be a very intense game," said LSU head coach Nikki Caldwell, who stands just one victory away from 100 for her coaching career. "Both teams will be hungry. Our team understands and respects Tulane. We need to make sure we are solid in our defense and not giving up uncontested shots. We can't get into foul trouble. They have a lot of different weapons and a balanced attack."
Even though LSU leads the all-time series 28-5, Tulane has won the last two contests in dramatic fashion. Last year in Fogelman Arena, Danielle Blagg scored a game-high 22 points, including a lay-up with 1.2 seconds left to break a 62-62 tie that resulted in a 64-62 Green Wave win in overtime.
A year prior to that, Olivia Grayson scored 21 points as Tulane won in Baton Rouge for the first time since 1999 by a score of 54-52. The Lady Tigers played without the services of All-Southeastern Conference forward LaSondra Barrett. Both Blagg and Grayson are on the roster for Sunday's game.
Meanwhile, Caldwell will counter with a guard heavy lineup that produced a season-high 81 points last weekend. It includes seniors Adrienne Webb and Bianca Lutley, juniors Theresa Plaisance and Jeanne Kenney and freshman Danielle Ballard.
Plaisance, the two-time Louisiana Sports Writers Player of the Week, has been spectacular through the first six games. The New Orleans native is the only player in the SEC to rank in the top five in the following categories: scoring (17.8 ppg), rebounding (8.7 rpg) and blocked shots (2.3 bpg).
"She's answered the call and she's made it very clear that you are going to have to defend her," said Caldwell. "She's doing work before the ball gets there. She is taking big-time charges and blocking shots. The team has taken to her. It's allowing a Ballard or Adrienne Webb to get open and get some shots. She's doing everything right for us and putting us in a position to win."
Plaisance has produced two consecutive 20-point games and three for the entire season. She is the first player since Sylvia Fowles in 2007 to register three 20-point performances through the first six games of a season.
Webb is up to fifth in the SEC in scoring with 15.2 points per contest. Webb stands just 22 points away from becoming the 30th player in school history to cross the 1,000 point milestone.
Ballard made her first career start against NC State. She brings in a streak of three consecutive double-figure scoring games. She is second among all freshmen in the SEC in scoring with 13.2 points per contest.