Late Ark. run hands LSU women's basketball second straight road loss, 63-54
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Arkansas went on a 7-0 run to break a tie game and the Razorbacks held LSU to one field goal in the final five minutes as the Lady Tiger basketball team dropped its second straight Southeastern Conference road game, 63-54, on Thursday night in Bud Walton Arena.
LSU (10-6, 1-2 SEC) trailed 14-0 from the start but recovered and even took a three-point lead midway through the second stanza. The Lady Tigers committed 17 turnovers, including four in the final 3:43 in which Arkansas separated the score one final time.
The Razorbacks (13-3, 1-2) picked up a must win after starting SEC play with an 0-2 record with losses to Auburn and Texas A&M. Arkansas recorded 12 points off turnovers, got 16 points from its bench and took advantage of its opportunities from the free throw line, making 18-of-29.
"When we dig ourselves a hole we have to climb out of it," said LSU head coach Nikki Caldwell. "Every time we took care of the basketball, we scored. We had several turnovers in the final minutes of game and that was the difference. We also fouled too much tonight and that totally takes your momentum away when you are making a run."
Quistelle Williams led the way with 13 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Williams converted three straight field goals after it was 48-46 in favor of LSU. Her jumper at the 6:47 mark would be the Lady Tigers' final lead of the game. She fired in a huge three from the right wing that made it 55-48 Arkansas with 5:10 to play.
Theresa Plaisance, Jeanne Kenney and Adrienne Webb turned it over on three of the next four possessions, including one forced by a steal from Williams. Sarah Watkins had the final dagger on a transition lay-up to give the Razorbacks a 60-51 advantage with 1:55 on the clock.
Plaisance led all scorers with 22 points and three blocks. It represented her 15th consecutive double-figure scoring game, which is the longest streak by an LSU player since Allison Hightower did it in 16 consecutive games during her senior year of 2009-10.
Bianca Lutley added 13 points, while freshman Danielle Ballard contributed 11 points and a team-best seven rebounds. Jeanne Kenney finished with six assists, her seventh game of the season with five assists or better.
The Lady Tigers recovered from a 14-0 deficit to start the game. LSU missed its first eight shots until Lutley finally put the Lady Tigers on the board with a lay-up on a foul with 12:39 left in the first half. LSU trailed 31-25 at halftime before putting together a 14-1 spurt to take its first lead of the game following a Sheila Boykin bucket with 11:35 to go. The Lady Tigers' only lead quickly diminished.
"Even when we had our run, we broke down on several possessions," said Caldwell. "We just can't have those mental lapses. We did a decent job of getting Theresa some good looks. They were keyed in on Theresa. She really tried to establish that paint presence, which got us back in the game."
Despite being held under the 70-point mark for the first time in eight games, LSU out-shot Arkansas, 36.2 percent to 32.2 percent. The Lady Tigers also dominated points in the paint, 32-14, spearheaded by the play of Plaisance.
LSU returns home to host Mississippi State at 2 p.m. CT Sunday in the Maravich Center. The contest will be televised by CST (Cox Sports Television). Sunday kicks off "We Back Pat" week around the SEC. The week-long initiative will raise awareness for Alzheimer's disease and the Pat Summitt Foundation.