Lady Tigers cruise to 73-59 win over La Tech
BATON ROUGE - Raigyne Moncrief collected her first career double-double as the LSU women's basketball team snapped a three-game losing streak with a 73-59 victory over Louisiana Tech Wednesday at the Maravich Center.
LSU (3-4) set the tone with an aggressive defensive performance and forced Louisiana Tech (2-3) into a 2-for-28 shooting effort during the opening half. As a team, the Lady Tigers were 27-for-57 from the floor. The 27 field goals and 47.4 percent shooting clip were season-highs for LSU.
Moncrief racked up a season's best 18 points coupled with a career-high 10 rebounds. She also matched career-highs with seven steals and six assists over her 28 minutes of action.
Making her first start of the season, DaShawn Harden registered 13 points on 5-of-7 from the floor to claim her third straight effort in double figures. Sheila Boykin also picked up four points, seven rebounds and two assists during her first start on the season.
LSU's bench was sparked by Jenna Demmer, who contributed 11 points highlighted by a trio of three-pointers. Rina Hill tacked on eight points and three rebounds, while Alliyah Fareo produced a career-high four points in seven minutes. The eight points for Hill also equaled a season-high.
Anne Pedersen chipped in six points and three rebounds whereas Akilah Bethel amassed five points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals.
"I was very pleased with the start of the game in the first half," head coach Nikki Caldwell said. "Our defensive intensity really set the tone. You can see the play action we had worked on in practice over the past four days. It was evident during the course of the game. As a coach, you like to see when your team transfers over things you have worked on. In the first half, we did a great job of doing that. In the second half, our intensity let down a little bit. Louisiana Tech really raised their energy and intensity, but we held on. We made plays when we needed to. This team is, again, growing. We're getting better as each game goes on."
After three ties and four lead changes during the opening seven minutes, LSU seized control of the contest with a run for the ages. The Lady Tigers ripped off 29 of the stanza's final 32 points en route to a 37-11 halftime advantage. Louisiana Tech misfired on 16 consecutive shots and committed seven turnovers over the final 12:24 of the half.
LSU used 15 consecutive points where seven players scored to go up 25-9 at the 5:34 mark. The flurry was ignited by a traditional three-point play from Harden.
The Lady Tigers continued their charge with another 12-0 run that consisted off a pair of Pedersen jumpers, a Moncrief old fashion three-point play, a Deemer triple and a Moncrief jumper.
Out of the locker room, Louisiana Tech scored the first seven points of the second half. The Lady Techsters were led by JaQuan Jackson who racked up all 22 of her points in the second half. Kelia Shelton also poured in 15 of her 18 points for Louisiana Tech during the second half.
The Lady Tigers kept their advantage in the 20s for a majority of the second half. Louisiana Tech put together 17 of the final 24 points of the game to close the final margin to 73-59.
Moncrief secured 11 of her team-leading 18 points during the second half. A key to her success was an 8-for-10 performance at the free throw line.
"Ray (Raigyne Moncrief) wasn't able to play up and down all summer," Caldwell said. "She was limited, even in preseason, in August and September. She's really now getting her rhythm back and getting a feel for the game. I like what she said about letting the game come to her. She's in a different role this year for us. She's taking on more of a leadership role by being a great basketball player. One of the great attributes of a great basketball player is their ability to make their teammates look good. That's what she did tonight. She made it easy for Deshawn (Harden). She made it easier for Rina (Hill), Anne Pedersen and Jenna (Deemer). That's what is special about her ability to make other people shine. "
LSU returns to action following a 10-day break for final exams. The Lady Tigers play host to Southeastern Louisiana on Sunday, December 14th.
Tip time is slated for 2 p.m. at the Maravich Center. The game will be carried online only by SEC Network Plus via www.WatchESPN.com and the Watch ESPN app. Lyn Rollins and Victor Howell will serve as the announcing team.
The LSU Sports Radio Network will broadcast the game on its flagship station Talk 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge. The broadcast featuring Patrick Wright, the voice of the Lady Tigers, also will be available for Geaux Zone subscribers at www.LSUsports.net/live.
Season tickets are on sale for $75 online at http://www.LSUtix.net/. The LSU Athletics Ticket Office can be reached at (800) 960-8587 or (225) 578-2184 and is located on the first floor of the Moran Family Center for Athletics Administration Building. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.
For all of the latest news and information on Lady Tiger basketball, visit www.LSUsports.net/womensbasketball. Fans can also follow the program on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/LSUwbkb, @lsuwbkb and @NikkiCaldwell on Twitter, @LSUwbkb and @LSUNikkiCaldwell on Instagram.
LSU Women's Basketball Postgame Quotes
LSU vs. Louisiana Tech- December 3, 2014
HEAD COACH NIKKI CALDWELL
Opening statement ...
"I was very pleased with the start of the game in the first half. Our defensive intensity really set the tone. You can see the play action we had worked on in practice over the past four days. It was evident during the course of the game. As a coach, you like to see when your team transfers over things you have worked on. In the first half, we did a great job of doing that. In the second half, our intensity let down a little bit. Louisiana Tech really raised their energy and intensity, but we held on. We made plays when we needed to. This team is, again, growing. We're getting better as each game goes on."
On Raigyne Moncrief getting comfortable post injury ...
"Ray (Raigyne Moncrief) wasn't able to play up and down all summer. She was limited, even in preseason, in August and September. She's really now getting her rhythm back and getting a feel for the game. I like what she said about letting the game come to her. She's in a different role this year for us. She's taking on more of a leadership role by being a great basketball player. One of the great attributes of a great basketball player is their ability to make their teammates look good. That's what she did tonight. She made it easy for Deshawn (Harden). She made it easier for Rina (Hill), Anne Pedersen and Jenna (Deemer). That's what is special about her ability to make other people shine. "
On coaching against Louisiana Tech's Tyler Summit ...
"Before the game and I said this earlier, we will go and shake hands. We will hug but the competiveness in me and obviously in him, that's going to come out. We are going to put together the best game plan we can to win the basketball game. Then afterwards, we will shake hands and hug again. I am extremely proud of what he has done with Louisiana Tech and making his teams very competitive. Mickie DeMoss, she was my position coach, I know the energy she brings. She is somebody that has helped him. You couldn't have asked for a better assistant coach than Mickie DeMoss who was his mom's (Pat Summitt's) longtime assistant coach but more importantly she was Pat's longtime friend and still is today."
On the versatility of Rina Hill and DaShawn Harden...
"I think nothing is ever locked in. What I expressed to our team is that there are 10 ‘starts' in a game. There is one at the 20-minute mark, one at the 16, 12, 8 and 4 (minute media timeouts). I am looking for the group that is going to get us off to a great start each time we go to the bench and come back out. Rina Hill was in for a segment where she got us off to a good start. I know Rina is going to play, so I am more concerned with who is going to get us off to that first initial start. I do not want us playing catch up from behind. In the last couple of games, we played from behind. We were also a revolving door in the first four minutes of the game because we did not want to box out. Once they settled in, we became a very good basketball team."
On handling the team's final exam break...
"It is that time of year. We will take tomorrow off, come back and practice for a few days. Then, we will take another day off. We will do some skill-development days. They are really going to dive into their books. We have a lot of kids with majors anywhere from business majors, mass communication majors and engineering majors. Studying at this time is very important. We will work practice around their finals and their study groups. We have 11 days until we play again, but I want to make sure we are sharp. There may be early-morning practices so they can have the rest of the day for their finals. This group is not afraid of getting up at 6 a.m. We did it all summer. It is nothing for us to get up and get in an early-morning workout."
GUARD RAIGYNE MONCRIEF
On this game being the team's best game on paper...
"Yes, especially the first half. We were like a brand new team. I think the practices we've been having and the chance of going at each other, we brought it first half. Second half, we kind of let it down like Coach (Nikki Caldwell) said. I think that in the first half we brought the intensity."
On attacking the basket ...
"It just happened. I try to take the best shot for the team. I wasn't going in just to make a layup. I wanted to go in and bring in the defense, then kick out to the open players like DaShawn (Harden) or Jenna (Deemer). I just had to make the layup when I got there and had the chance to shoot."
On mentally getting back to last season's level...
"My mindset when I come in a game is that I have to, like Coach told me when we had a meeting, let my other teammates shine -let the game come to me. That's when I think my game comes when I have to make open passes, get my assists and get good passes to my teammates. I think that's when I think my games come to me. I just try to come in the mindset of ‘try to make good passes. It's not about the points right now just try to make good passes' and then everything started coming for me after that."
GUARD DASHAWN HARDEN
On starting and changing her approach when she's stars...
"I think I did well. I just focused on setting the tone defensively. That's all Raigyne (Moncrief) and I were talking about - setting the tone not even worrying about offense and defensively just making sure that we set the tone ... It's the same, it's still basketball. Its 40 minutes either way if you're coming off the bench or starting the game. You're still playing. The ball's the same. The court's the same. Nothing's different."
On keeping the team's momentum after an 11-day layoff for final exams...
"We didn't play for a while because of the Mexico trip. I think that the momentum comes from practice. I think that we carried the momentum from previous practices that we've had the past three or four days. After 11 days between games, that's great because you're building more momentum in practice. I think that's how we carry it over."