Lady Tigers Win Fourth-Straight, 51-39
BATON ROUGE - Raigyne Moncrief registered her third career double-double with 11 points coupled with a career-high 13 rebounds as the LSU women's basketball team notched its fourth straight win and claimed a 51-39 victory over Alabama on Sunday afternoon at the Maravich Center.
LSU (14-9, 8-3 SEC), winners of six of its last eight games, remained tied for third place with Mississippi State in the SEC standings. The Lady Tigers have emerged with an 18-1 record against Alabama (12-13, 1-9 SEC) dating back to the 2002-03 season.
"The SEC is such a competitive conference," head coach Nikki Caldwell said. "No matter what the records of our opponents are, it's going to be a fight. We knew that Alabama was going to come in here and was going to play hard. We knew they were going to play aggressively, and they did just that. I'm proud of our team for staying the course. We made the defensive stops when we needed them. We were able to, again, work off of turning our opponent over and capitalizing in our transition game. We're going to continue to grow as a basketball team. We're still fairly young. We're going to take this game and obviously enjoy the victory today."
For Moncrief, she was 5-of-13 from the floor and has reached double figures in six of her last seven outings. She came away with seven of her 11 points and nine of her 13 rebounds during the second half.
Danielle Ballard turned in a solid all-around effort with 11 points, seven rebounds and three times. It marked the seventh consecutive game that Ballard has secured double digit points.
LSU's bench effort was sparked by DaShawn Harden who picked up nine points, four steals and two steals. Stephanie Amichia notched six points, five rebounds and equaled a career-best with two blocks over an active 13 minutes. Jasmine Rhodes added six points on 2-of-3 shooting effort.
Sheila Boykin hauled down six rebounds to go along with two assists and a steal.
As a team, LSU was 21-of-55 from the floor and misfired on four of its five attempts from beyond the three-point line. The Lady Tigers struggled to an 8-for-17 performance at the free throw line. LSU made the most of 22 Alabama turnovers and scored 22 of the game's 30 points off turnovers.
The Crimson Tide was led by Ashley Williams' 15 points on a 7-of-12 shooting clip. Meoshonti Knight added 11 points for Alabama who has lost all five of its SEC road decisions.
LSU led from the opening tip to the final buzzer and built a 25-9 advantage with 3:34 remaining in the first half. The Lady Tigers used suffocating defense and forced Alabama into a 4-for-23 shooting effort during the game's first 17 minutes.
LSU was an efficient 12-of-24 from the floor during the first half. The Lady Tigers had five players amass at least four points and dished out six assists on their 12 first half field goals to take a 29-17 lead into the locker room.
Alabama battled back to within 39-35 at the 7:03 mark of the second half. The Lady Tigers went for an 8:30 span without a basket until Harden drove in for a layup on the left baseline.
A Moncrief midrange jumper ignited a 12-4 flurry over the last final minutes. LSU also received baskets from Ballard, Harden, Moncrief and Rhodes down the stretch to close out the 51-39 win.
"I think it's been about everybody respecting what everyone can bring to the table," Caldwell said. "I think that there is a level of expectation, and there's a standard that's set there. We are counting on certain people to perform at a certain level every night, and their teammates are there to support them. When you see (Shelia) Boykin setting screens for the guards to get those open jump shots, she's just as happy for them. To me, that's a team that's mentally tougher than where we were a couple of months ago. We can celebrate somebody else's success and not look at it as what I'm not doing. Our mentality has changed to how can we help our team, and our teammates be successful and be givers. Tonight, we were givers. We gave the ball to them too many times, but we still were trying to be givers to each other. You could see we overpassed a few possessions there, but I'd rather us overpass than have the selfish play."