By: Mike Lanclos
Da Boot Sports!
The LSU Lady Tigers were eager to get their home opener started as they welcomed the UCF Lady knights to the PMAC. LSU would start the game slow, but made the score look closer than the game actually was by a final score of 58-48. LSU dropped to 0-3 overall while UCF improved to 2-0. It would not take long before LSU would win the tip, but not long after, a UCF defender would knock the ball out of bounds. Then LSU would jump on the scoreboard with a 3-0 run as senior Awa Trasi would three free throws to get the Lady Tigers on the board. That would be the last point since the 6:34 mark in the first quarter. UCF would then get started as they would go on a 13-0 run. Senior Courtajia Sanders would lead the Knights in the quarter as she would hit a jump shot, layup along with 4 free throws. To assist her in scoring Sophomore Destiny Thomas would add a layup as Junior Diamond Battles would nail 3 free throws to increase the UCF lead. For the quarter LSU would struggle offensively as they would commit 7 turnovers and had 0% from the field in scoring. UCF would also commit 7 turnovers but had a 50% shooting from the field.
For the second quarter their offensive struggles would continue, as UCF would eventually push their lead to 22-3 at about the 3:23 mark. LSU's first points in the quarter would not come until Freshman Sharna Ayres would hit a jump shot after Senior Rakell Spencer would add a free throw. UCF would then get some points themselves as Forward Britney Smith led the Lady Knights in scoring as she grabbed 6 points along with Jnaya Walker would toss in 4 points of her own to help the Lady Knights. Also Guard Courtajia would find a way to nail a three pointer. Right before the half Khayla Pointer would get fouled as she fired off a shot just before the halftime buzzer sounded and would only get 1/3 free throws to go down. LSU had plenty of chances, but was squandered by turnovers and missed opportunities as they would find themselves down 30-12 at the half.
After the half, LSU would seem to come out strong as Senior Guard Khayla Pointer would hit a long range three point shot to close the gap some would have 8 points for LSU. But after that points for the Lady Tigers were not easy to come by, as Senior Rakell Spencer would hit 2 free throws right before Junior Sarah Shematsi would hit a 3 point bucket of her own. UCF, however would still take what LSU would give them and added points when they needed to. UCF Junior Diamond Battles would lead UCF in scoring for the quarter as she would have 6 free throws. As the time kept ticking away, it seemed like each time LSU scored UCF would find an answer.
When the fourth quarter came, the LSU offense finally came to life as they would outscore
UCF 23-16. The Lady Tigers Junior guard Sarah Shematsi would jumpstart the team as she would hit 4 three point buckets, something the team desperately needed to get the team back in the game. Senior guard Khayla Pointer would add a 3 pointer of her own to help the score look more respectable than how the game seemed from start to finish. For UCF Senior Courtajia Sanders led her team with 22 points as Junior Brittney Smith added 13 points for the Lady Knights. UCF would take advantage of the paint while scoring 32-6 over LSU. LSU would add pressure in the 3rd quarter, but UCF handled it well enough to do what they needed to do. On the other hand LSU's bench did well as they scored 23-8 over UCF.
LSU head coach Nikki Fargas would speak about how the offense was slow to respond. She mentions how the team needs more points than 3 in a quarter because it can be hard to make up eventually. "We have to score more than 3 points in a quarter. I don't think I've ever experienced when we did not make one field goal, so its really hard to make that up. We have to knock these (shots) down, especially when teams are going to run a more base-line type defense and try to keep us out of the paint."
The next game for the Tigers will be December 14th when the Lady Tigers host Texas Southern at 5 pm local time. Texas Southern has not played a game as of today.
Photos By: LSU/SEC