Lady Tigers fall to South Carolina by 2
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Ieasia Walker sank two free throws with two seconds left to break a 61-61 tie and South Carolina rallied from an 18-point first-half deficit to stun the LSU women's basketball team, 63-61, on Thursday night in Colonial Life Arena.
The Lady Tigers (10-6) dropped their second straight game and fell to 0-2 in Southeastern Conference play after winning six straight games prior to last Sunday's loss to Tennessee. LSU seeks to earn its first SEC victory at home against Alabama at 2 p.m. CT Sunday in the Maravich Center.
"That might have been as tough a loss as I've been through," said LSU head coach Van Chancellor. "We were up 20-4 and proceeded to turn the ball over and couldn't make a shot. When you get a lead you still have to make plays. They did a great job shooting the three ball. We had them where we wanted them and we quit doing things that got us there. This is a really disappointing loss. We couldn't execute under pressure."
South Carolina (9-6, 1-1) snapped a 14-game losing streak to LSU and defeated the Lady Tigers for the first time since the 1998 SEC Tournament. LSU was previously 10-1 all-time in Columbia and it was the Gamecocks first victory over the Lady Tigers in South Carolina since Jan. 2, 1993.
LSU's LaSondra Barrett scored a game-high 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting, while sophomore guard Adrienne Webb added 17 points. Katherine Graham dished out seven assists, and Taylor Turnbow was the Lady Tigers' leading rebounder with eight boards.
LSU scored the game's first seven points and the Lady Tigers claimed a 20-4 lead when Barrett buried a 3-pointer with 13:49 to go in the first half. Webb gave LSU its largest margin, 23-5, with a three of her own at the 12:32 mark. South Carolina managed only one field goal in the first nine minutes before making a game of it.
Markeisha Grant buried a trey, had a layup and culminated an 18-4 run that cut the deficit to 29-25 with two minutes remaining in the stanza. The Gamecocks took confidence into the locker room trailing only 33-26 at the half in a game that early on looked like LSU would cruise.
Grant gave South Carolina its first lead when she buried a three with 15:04 to play. She added another one that pushed the lead to 44-38 in favor of the Gamecocks. Valerie Nainima then gave South Carolina its largest advantage with a jumper that made it 46-38 with 12:20 left. LSU made a rally of its own with a 10-2 spurt to regain the lead.
The Lady Tigers led 61-59 with 1:20 left but Courtney Jones committed a turnover and a foul that led to two La'Keisha Sutton free throws that tied the game with 1:11 remaining. The teams traded missed jumpers with 22 seconds left and LSU got another chance but Katherine Graham turned it over with six seconds on the clock.
Jeanne Kenney committed a foul on the other end and Walker converted the game-winning free throws with two seconds left. Jones' final three point attempt was no good as time expired.
South Carolina, who entered the game 12th in the league in 3-point field goals, drained 8-of-17 treys on the night. The Gamecocks finished at 41.2 percent shooting for the game. LSU shot 43.1 percent.