Lady Tigers fall to Texas A&M 72-67
Danielle Ballard turned in a solid all-around effort with 22 points, nine rebounds and four assists, but the No. 16 LSU women's basketball team was handed a 72-67 defeat by No. 19 Texas A&M Sunday at Reed Arena.
With the loss, LSU (18-6, 7-4 SEC) dropped into a fifth-place tie with Florida in the SEC standings whereas Texas A&M (18-6, 8-2 SEC) earned a two-game season sweep over the Lady Tigers and moved into a second-place tie in the SEC race. It was the first home win recorded by either team in the series during their four SEC meetings.
The Aggies were aided by a trio of offensive putbacks down the stretch after the last media timeout, two by Courtney Walker 38 seconds apart on consecutive possessions during the final 92 seconds. Texas A&M also benefited from a 25-for-35 effort at the free throw-line, which included a 24-for-30 mark during the second half.
"We knew this was going to be a hard-fought game," head coach Nikki Caldwell said. "Both teams did a lot of good things to position themselves to win. I thought A&M did what they needed to do down the stretch, especially with their board play. They got a lot of second and third opportunities. They were the better team, and they played with a lot of toughness."
Ballard's 22 points was fueled by 16 second-half points and her third 20-point performance on the season. All three efforts have come on the road. She connected on 10-of-19 from the floor and secured nine rebounds nearly picking up her second double-double of the 2013-14 season.
Raigyne Moncrief compiled 11 of her 15 points during the second half. She hauled down a career-high tying nine rebounds and snatched four steals over a career-best 38 minutes of action. It marked her fourth consecutive game and five of the last six outings for the freshman guard with 10-plus points.
Theresa Plaisance tacked on 12 points en route to her 14th straight game in double-figures. She registered nine rebounds almost claiming her fifth double-dip for the season.
Jeanne Kenney was limited to six points and two assists over 19 minutes of action before she fouled out, while Shanece McKinney provided four points and seven rebounds.
Off the bench, LSU's top performer was Sheila Boykin. She worked her way to four points and three rebounds. The Lady Tigers were held to eight bench points, its second-lowest total of the season. LSU has lost three of five games when being outscored on bench points this season.
Texas A&M's Courtney Walker and Courtney Williams played the entire 40 minutes for the Aggies. The duo combined for 38 points and 15 of the team's 23 field goals. Walker came away with 22 points on a 10-for-20 shooting clip. Karla Gilbert and Tori Scott added 12 and 11 points, respectively.
LSU scored a 38 of the game's 60 points in the paint and garnered a healthy 17-2 edge in fastbreak points. However, the Aggies were able to secure a 25-11 margin at the charity stripe and took advantage of 30 fouls whistled on LSU.
As a team, LSU was 27-of-67 but misfired on 11 of its 13 attempts from three-point territory. The Lady Tigers made 11-of-17 at the foul line.