Lady Tigers fall to Kentucky

Matt Dunaway
LSU's Raigyne Moncrief. Photo by LSUsports.net.

Raigyne Moncrief racked up a SEC season's best 19 points coupled with a career-high tying nine rebounds, but the No. 14 LSU women's basketball team was handed a 63-56 defeat to start the second half of the SEC season by No. 13 Kentucky Sunday at Memorial Coliseum.

The Lady Tigers (17-5, 6-3 SEC) nearly overcame a 15-point deficit during the last 11-plus minutes. LSU got as close as four points inside the final minute but ultimately had their three-game winning streak snapped. Kentucky (17-5, 5-4 SEC) picked up its third straight victory over the Lady Tigers in Lexington.

"When we look at the game – what we needed to do on the offensive end was take care of the basketball," head coach Nikki Caldwell said. "That was an issue, and Kentucky capitalized off of our turnovers. We also had a lot of missed layups. One of the things about Kentucky that's been a staple for them is they rely on their defense, and their defense did a good job of disrupting us, especially in the first half. By doing so, that allowed them to get those transition baskets."

For Moncrief, she collected 14 of her 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting and eight of her nine rebounds during the second half. The freshmen guard also dished out four assists over a season-high 35 minutes.

Theresa Plaisance, the reigning SEC Player of the Week, battled her way to 13 points and six rebounds. It was Plaisance's 12th straight game in double-figures.

Shanece McKinney tacked on eight points, nine rebounds and a season-high four blocked shots. She has registered 11 rejections over her last four outings.

Off the bench, DaShawn Harden secured nine points on 4-of-8 from the floor. She also hauled in five rebounds and added two steals.

Kentucky put together a balanced attack as six players came away with six points or more. Bria Goss led the way with 11 points followed by Jennifer O'Neill's 10 points. DeNesha Stallworth and Samarie Walker notched eight points apiece, and the duo combined for 15 of UK's 36 rebounds.

As a team, LSU compiled a 20-for-62 shooting performance and misfired on 10 of its 11 attempts from three-point territory. The 32.3 percent shooting ratio was the team's third lowest output on the season. The Lady Tigers were an efficient 15-of-18 at the free throw line.

Kentucky garnered a 21-for-57 effort from the floor aided by eight triples courtesy of seven players. The Wildcats made 13-of-18 at the charity stripe and scored 25 of the game's 40 points off of turnovers. UK also held a 23-14 advantage in bench points.