LSU balance, defense too much for Hampton
BATON ROUGE - Senior forward Theresa Plaisance recorded a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds as the 15th-ranked LSU women's basketball team bounced back from its first loss of the season with an impressive 73-54 win over previously unbeaten Hampton on Wednesday night in the Maravich Center.
The Lady Tigers (3-1) gathered 19 offensive rebounds, which led to 20 second-chance points and they held Hampton to just 30.2 percent shooting for the game.
Freshman guard Jasmine Rhodes came off the bench with tremendous hustle play, scoring 14 points and grabbing nine rebounds to go along with two steals. Senior center Shanece McKinney added 14 points on an efficient 6-of-7 shooting. Sophomore Anne Pedersen finished with eight points and a career-best eight rebounds.
Hampton (2-1) shot 9-of-36 from three-point range and turned it over 21 times. The Lady Pirates' leading scorer, Alyssa Bennett, was held to just three points on 1-of-8 shooting.
"I thought we mixed it up and ran different people at [Alyssa] Bennett," said LSU head coach Nikki Caldwell. "She's a phenomenal player. But for us defensively, our goal every game is to hold our opponents under 50 points a game. I thought the first half we really did what we needed to do to try and reach that goal."
Hampton held an early five point lead as both teams struggled from the field, but the Lady Tigers closed the first half with an 11-1 run. Rhodes twice grabbed offensive rebounds and scored on putbacks. LSU took a 34-20 halftime lead and outscored the Lady Pirates 39-34 in the second half.
"Hampton is a very, very good basketball team," said Caldwell. "They are a team that is very seasoned and really get after you on the defensive end. I thought their pressure really disrupted us at times and really got us out of our rhythm. A lot of credit to our team for hanging tough and coming up with the plays that we needed to generate a lead."
Hampton was led in scoring by Nicole Hamilton who finished with a game-high 27 points.
LSU hits the road for a 1 p.m. Saturday tipoff at Louisiana Tech.