LSU women win eighth straight against La Tech

Bill Martin
LSU's Kuaneshia "Coco" Baker. Photo by

Five LSU players finished with double-figure scoring -- including the first career double-double for junior forward Shanece McKinney -- in a balanced attack as the Lady Tiger basketball team extended its winning streak over Louisiana Tech to eight straight with a 77-55 win yesterday afternoon in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

The Lady Tigers (6-3) used a dominating post presence throughout the contest to outscore the Lady Techsters 44-20 in the paint and out-rebound them by a margin of +17. Louisiana Tech (4-6) remained winless in the Maravich Center since Feb. 27, 1989.

McKinney, making her second straight start, scored 13 points and grabbed a career-best 10 rebounds. Freshman Derreyal Youngblood finished one board shy of a double-double with 12 points, nine rebounds and four blocks. Youngblood was part of an LSU bench that contributed 30 points.

"It was good to have everyone on the roster playing," said LSU head coach Nikki Caldwell. "I really felt as though the bench gave us the spark we needed in the first half to extend our lead. They did a great job of playing like a unit. They set the tempo defensively and really got after Louisiana Tech."

LSU blocked 11 shots for the game, including four more from Theresa Plaisance, who chipped in 12 points. Bianca Lutley led all LSU scorers with 14 points. Freshman Danielle Ballard collected four steals, while fellow freshman Kuaneshia "Coco" Baker finished with four points, two assists and three steals in her first career action.

The Lady Tigers took it right to Louisiana Tech, going up double-digits at the 13:05 mark on Baker's first career points, a lay-up that made it 13-2. The Lady Techsters managed only two field goals in the first 10 minutes, and that gave LSU an opportunity to build an 11-0 run and take control of the game.

Lulu Perry, who finished with a game-high 18 points, kept Louisiana Tech within striking distance with eight points in a three-minute span late in the first half. Tech trailed 23-14 with 6:16 left in the first stanza following her jumper.

However, Plaisance muscled her way inside and got to the free throw line, draining a perfect 6-of-6 in the final five minutes of the half. LSU led 34-26 at the break.

Adrienne Webb was scoreless until she erupted for eight straight points early in the second half. Several of the buckets came off turnovers as Ballard disrupted Tech from getting the ball across half court. An ensuing Jeanne Kenney jumper from the top of the key gave the Lady Tigers a comfortable 44-28 advantage.

"We definitely challenged our starters coming out in the second half by telling them to look at this as a new game and that the score is 0-0," said Caldwell. "We wanted to make sure we set the tempo as the starting group and they did. It was led by Adrienne Webb's intensity. I felt like she really established us in the paint with her lay-ups and dribble drive."

LSU led by as many as 26 points with 3:13 remaining, and the Lady Tigers never trailed throughout the contest. LSU shot 44.3 percent for the game and converted 23-of-36 free throw opportunities.

The Lady Tigers continue in-state competition at 7 p.m. Wednesday when Grambling comes to Baton Rouge.