First Half Run Lifts Hampton Past Lady Tigers
HAMPTON, Va. - Keiara Avant scored a game-high 19 points and Hampton won its second straight game over a Southeastern Conference opponent as the LSU women's basketball team fell by a score of 67-58 on Friday night in Hampton University Convocation Center.
The Lady Tigers (1-1) saw a streak of eight consecutive non-conference regular season wins come to an end. LSU also fell to a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference team for the first time after previously being 6-0.
Hampton (3-0), the defending MEAC champions, beat an SEC opponent for the second time in five days. The Pirates knocked off Mississippi State, 56-48, in Starkville on Monday. Riding the momentum of that victory, Hampton used suffocating defense on LSU's guards, forcing 22 turnovers that led to 21 points.
"We have to have players match their intensity," said LSU head coach Nikki Caldwell. "They came up with some critical offensive and defensive boards. We have to make sure to box out and give teams only one look. Give credit to them. When you have a player like (Keiara) Avant, you have to have someone match her intensity."
Theresa Plaisance led the Lady Tigers with a career-high 18 points and 11 rebounds. It was the first double-double of her career. Freshman Danielle Ballard added 13 points, while Bianca Lutley reached double-figures for the second straight game with 13 points.
LSU shot just 5-of-21 for 23.8 percent in the first half. After trailing 6-2 three minutes into the game, Hampton put together a 19-0 run and took complete control. Over the next five minutes, the Lady Tigers went scoreless from the floor and committed a series of turnovers. Nicole Hamilton's three at the 11:02 mark put the Pirates up 21-6.
Trailing 35-18 at the half, LSU fell behind as many as 21 points in the second half. Plaisance scored six in a row and the Lady Tigers came within 15 points at the final official timeout. The Pirates iced the game at the line. Avant scored nine of her game-high 19 from the stripe, and Hampton finished 19-of-24 as a team.
LSU out-scored the Pirates, 40-32 in the second half and out-rebounded Hampton for the game, 42-41.
The Lady Tigers continue their four-game road swing at Georgetown at 6 p.m. CT Monday. LSU heads to Washington D.C. on Saturday morning and will tour The White House. Monday's game will be carried on the LSU Sports Radio Network on 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge and to members of the Geaux Zone on LSUsports.net/live.