JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - Swayze Black's putback at the buzzer forced overtime and LaSondra Barrett capped a 20-point night with four game-winning free throws in the final minute as the LSU women's basketball team rallied back from a double-digit deficit to defeat East Tennessee State, 71-68, on Tuesday night in the MSHA Athletic Center.
The Lady Tigers (14-6) snapped a three-game losing streak and were once again without guards Destini Hughes and Jeanne Kenney. Hughes is out for the season with a knee injury and Kenney is recovering from a concussion. Kenney is slated to return at Vanderbilt on Sunday when LSU returns to Southeastern Conference play.
ETSU dropped to 5-15 in what was the first-ever meeting between the two teams. A crowd of 4,092 - the second largest in the building's history - watched what was a nine-point ETSU lead at the half turn into an overtime thriller. The Lady Bucs led by as many as 12 points midway through the first half.
Barrett delivered her third double-double of the season, scoring 20 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, while Courtney Jones scored nine points and collected 11 boards. Bianca Lutley finished with a career-high 16 points and provided the Lady Tigers with leadership down the stretch, dishing out three assists.
"We knew it was going to be tough because we are adjusting with a new look we have to play with," said LSU head coach Nikki Caldwell. "I thought we had some quality minutes and played good basketball in the second half. I am proud of the way we responded. We were a lot more patient in the second half and that allowed us some time on the offensive end instead of turning the ball over."
LSU trailed 63-59 with 2:02 left in regulation following Brianna Bogard's three, but Barrett responded with two free throws. After Amy Duke missed the front end of a 1-and-1, LSU called timeout with 21 seconds left. The Lady Tigers then got four looks in the final 20 seconds culminating with Black's jumper in the lane as the final horn sounded. Officials conferred, the shot was good and the teams went to overtime tied at 63.
LSU had to come from behind in overtime as well, trailing by three with 2:00 to go. Jones' layup on an assist from Lutley with 1:36 left in the extra period pulled LSU to within 68-67. Barrett on the other end was then fouled on a rebound. She made both shots that gave the Lady Tigers a 69-68 lead and the Lady Bucs turned it over on the ensuing possession. Barrett went to the line again and calmly knocked down two more free throws to make it 71-68 with 11 seconds remaining.
Duke's desperation three-point attempt misfired as the Lady Tigers escaped with a victory. Duke was one of three Lady Bucs in double-figures and she finished with a game-high 21 points.
ETSU managed to out-shoot LSU, 42.2 percent to 36.5 percent from the floor. The Lady Bucs benefited from 10 made threes. The Lady Tigers did however own the boards, 51-35.