BATON ROUGE, La. --- Behind the hot shooting of junior guard Raigyne Moncrief, the LSU women’s basketball team won its sixth-straight game with a 69-49 victory over Little Rock here at the Maravich Center Wednesday evening.
The Lady Tigers improve to 10-2 on the year, and are 6-1 at the PMAC so far this season. Little Rock falls to 6-6 on the year.
Moncrief led the Lady Tigers with a season-high 23 points off an 11-of-15 shooting effort from the field. It was the third-straight time this season that Moncrief has scored 20 or more points. She is the first Lady Tiger to score 20-plus points in three consecutive games since Danielle Ballard did so at the end of the 2013-14 season.
Moncrief also stuffed the stat sheet with seven rebounds, two assists, a steal and tied her career high with three blocks.
LSU’s next highest scorer was sophomore guard Chloe Jackson, who contributed 14 points, six rebounds and two steals.
Shanice Norton, Jasmine Rhodes and Alexis Hyder rounded out the top scorers with nine, eight and seven points, respectively. The Lady Tigers shot a season-high 60 percent from the field and outscored Little Rock 38-18 in the paint.
The Lady Tigers opened the game on a 9-2 run and ended the first quarter with a 20-12 advantage over the Trojans.
A sluggish second quarter for LSU enabled the Trojans to climb back to within five as the two teams went into the half with LSU leading, 28-23.
After scoring just eight points in the second quarter, LSU exploded for 18 points in the third quarter and 23 in the fourth. The Lady Tigers’ fourth quarter dominance was propelled by a two-minute stretch in which they went on a 10-0 run to give them a 58-38 lead with just over six minutes left.
LSU’s lead went as high as 22 points with 1:31 remaining in the game before ending the contest 69-49, handing the Trojans their third straight loss against an SEC school this season. The 69 points was the most that Little Rock has given up this season, as the Trojans held #5 Mississippi State to 58 points, and #25 Texas A&M to 55 points in the other losses to SEC foes.
The Lady Tigers won the battle on the boards, 33-24, and hauled down 26 defensive rebounds.
Kyra Collier led the Trojans with 12 points, followed by Kaitlyn Pratt’s 11 points. Ronjanae DeGray, who led Little Rock with nine rebounds, also was in double figures with 10 points.
The Lady Tigers will have a few days off for Christmas before returning to the PMAC to host Alabama State on Wednesday, Dec. 28, in the final nonconference game of the season. LSU opens SEC action on the road against Mississippi State on Jan. 1. This is the fourth-straight season that LSU is opening league play on the road.
NOTES & TRENDS
• Starters for LSU were Chloe Jackson, Rina Hill, Alexis Hyder, Raigyne Moncrief & Ayana Mitchell. This starting lineup is 5-0 so far this season.
• With the win, LSU is now 3-1 over Little Rock and 1-1 in games played at the PMAC.
• LSU is now 10-2 in games played on Dec. 21, dating back to the 1975-76 season.
• LSU is 44-5 against current members of the Sun Belt Conference.
• Raigyne Moncrief scored a season-high 23 points today to extend her double-digit scoring streak to 10 games.
• Raigyne Moncrief is the only Lady Tiger to score 20-plus points in a game this season and she has done so four times this year; and eight times in her career. The 23 points is the second-highest scoring output of her career. Her career high is 27 points vs Rutgers on Nov. 29, 2013.
• LSU shot 60.4 percent (29-48) from the field for the best shooting mark this season. The 60-percent clip is also the highest for LSU since shooting 60.4 percent against Alabama on January 8, 2012 off a 32-of-53 effort from the field.
• LSU has held it opponent to fewer than 50 points in the last three-straight games. It is the first time three-straight 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)
LSU Head Coach Nikki Fargas
“Our radio talent Patrick (Wright) had brought to my attention that we had 10 wins. He said that 10 was all we had all of last season. These 10 wins we have this season have come with a lot of sweat equity. It comes with a lot of heart and hustle, and it starts on the defensive end. Turning people over and rebounding helps us establish our running game, and today we found another avenue to score the basketball. That was in our half court setting. We shot 60 percent. That’s one of the best percentages we’ve had all year. We did not turn Little Rock over like we’ve been turning opponents over in the past. We had to find other ways to be efficient, and I thought our offensive execution with our shooting percentage was a testament to the team being disciplined in their attack. This was a great win for our team. The girls need to enjoy their four or five days off and focus on family and the holidays.”
Thoughts on going into the break shooting 60% from the field in a win…
“I think the one thing that you worry about is if your kids can maintain that level of intensity. I thought in the second quarter we had some offensive mishaps as we were turning the ball over at a high rate. That was really affecting our ability to score the basketball. We looked at the 11 possessions we gave to them and corrected that in the second half. We only had five turnovers in the second half, and our offense was a lot more efficient.”
On if she felt that LSU would be able to drive the basketball against the opposition…
“It was really about the ball placement. They do a great job of extending their defense at the help line, especially when the ball is below the free throw line. If we were going to drive the ball, we had to focus on the middle because that’s a hard area to rotate in. (Raigyne) Moncrief does a great job of choosing when she wants to attack, but I like the fact that she’s changing up her speed. You can see that she can go to another gear when she’s ready to attack the rim.”
On Chloe Jackson’s offensive performance…
“I think Chloe took some really good shots. I thought her shot selection was the best it’s been in the last couple of games. To go six for eight from the field with six rebounds is very good production for her. She also mixed up how she scored the basketball. She had some dribble-drives which led to some layups, and she had her pull-up jumper. From that standpoint, I’m very pleased with what we challenged her to do, and you could see it come into play in her game today.”
Little Rock Head Coach Joe Foley
“It was just a matter of turnovers and that is what it came down to. They started turning us over in the second half, we got a little tired and got into foul trouble. We started turning it over and they started getting easy layups.”
“They (LSU) put on pressure. It was more about us fouling, getting our guards in trouble and having to take them out, then it was their pressure. Because we have a lot of freshmen and sophomores, they turned us over and it changed the game.”