By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
BATON ROUGE, La.: The Lady Tigers come into Sunday's contest with #4 South Carolina on a two game winning streak, sitting at 6-6 overall, 4-2 in SEC play.
The Gamecocks are 11-1 overall and are in first place in the SEC with a 6-0 record. Carolina has
four players who average double-digits in scoring, lead by guard Zia Cooke, 15.9 ppg, while forward Aliyah Boston averages 14.4 ...
Nikki Fargas will need her Tigers to play at a high level as they face their toughest opponent of the season.
Below is our 'Da Boot Sports' game break down....
Both teams would struggle to get on the board to start the game, with missed shots and turnovers happening on both ends of the floor until the Lady Cocks would finally get on the board with two free throws by Zia Cooke with 8:23 to go in the first quarter.
After Carolina's Aliyah Boston would miss a pair of free throws, Khayla Pointer would put LSU on the board with a layup to tie the score at 2-2.
Over the next four minutes the game would pick up in tempo as both teams would race up and down the floor answering each other as we would go into an officials timeout at the 3:48 mark with the Lady Cocks on top 10-8.
It then looked like South Carolina was beginning to take control of the contest as they would build a five point advantage with 1:45 left on the clock. But LSU would answer finishing the 1st quarter with a 4-0 run to cut the lead to one, 13-12.
The Lady Tigers actually seemed to outplay Carolina so far, but hurt themselves turning the ball over five times in the opening quarter.
LSU would draw first blood to start the second quarter as Tiara Young would hit a jumper just inside the top of the key to give the Tigers the lead, 14-13.
The Tigers would build a four point lead at the 6 minute mark as the Cocks would struggle to score. However LSU would miss several opportunities to increase their lead missing several easy shots under the basket.
South Carolina would finally score their first points of the second quarter at the 5:00 mark on a jumper by Destanni Henderson, putting the score at 17-15, Tigers.
Over the final five minutes of the half, both teams would go at it like a pair of heavy weight boxers, scoring back and forth, playing it even at 23-23.
The Lady Cocks would take the ball down the court with 17 ticks left looking to take the final shot to take the lead into the locker room, but it would turn out to go the other direction as Karli Seay would make a great steal and take it the length of the court, laying it up and in with 2 seconds left on the clock giving LSU the lead, 25-23 at the break.
Tiara Young would lead the Lady Tigers in scoring at the half with 10 points. LSU finds themselves playing perhaps their best game of the season defensively, as they have been suffocating the Gamecocks forcing nine turnover and holding Carolina's leading scorer, Zia Cooke to only four points.
LSU would continue to play well as they would score the first four points of the 3rd quarter to build a 6 point lead, 29-23 at the 8:40 mark.
After going the first three minutes of the quarter without scoring, the Lady Cocks would begin to heat up outscoring LSU 9-4 over the next three minutes as the Tigers would cling to a 33-32 lead at the 4:59 mark.
In a hard fought, exciting basketball game, both teams would go back and forth trading the lead over the next five minutes, but the Tigers would hold on to lead 45-43 at the end of the 3rd quarter, as Faustine Aifuwa would hit a jumper with one second left.
South Carolina would find an extra gear to start the final quarter going on a 9-2 run over the first three minutes to take a 52-47 lead. But the Lady Tigers would still have lots of fight left in them, as Khayla Pointer would score four straight cutting the lead to one, 54-53 with 5:07 left in the game.
Over the next two minutes the Cocks would go on a 6-2 run as LSU would struggle to score during the stretch, 60-55 South Carolina with 2:51 left to go.
LSU would stay ice cold over the next two minutes, as they simply couldn't get the ball to go in the hole, while allowing Carolina to score a couple of easy fast break baskets to run the Cocks lead to 66-57 with only 1:14 left on the game clock.
South Carolina would hang on for a 69-65 victory over a very scrappy LSU team who left their hearts out on the floor.
Khayla Pointer had an outstanding game for the Lady Tigers leading the team with 18 points followed by Tiara Young with 16 points.
LSU played solid defense for most of the game against a very good basketball team, however it was their inability to make several easy shots in the paint that would come back to haunt them in the end.
The Lady Tigers would shoot 25-60 for 42% from the floor, while finishing 2-6 from three point range, for 33%, and ended up 13-17 from the free throw line for 76%.
Turnovers also hurt LSU as they committed 17 in the game. You just can't miss easy looks at the basket and turn the ball over that much against a team like South Carolina.
LSU now sits at 6-7 overall and 4-3 in conference play.
Next up the Lady Tigers will travel the Athens, Ga. to take on the Georgia Bulldogs on Thursday, January 28th at 6pm.
Photos Below By: Brittney Achord