LSU women handed big loss by South Carolina

Matt Dunaway
LSU's Jeanne Kenney. Photo by LSUsports.net.

Jeanne Kenney garnered 10 of her team-leading 15 points during the second half, but the No. 19 LSU women's basketball team was handed a 73-57 defeat by SEC leader and No. 5 South Carolina as 4,275 fans gathered at the Maravich Center Sunday for the program's Play4Kay game.

It marked the first time on the season that LSU (18-7, 7-5 SEC) was dealt back-to-back losses. Conversely, the Gamecocks (23-2, 11-1 SEC) picked up just their second win in 14 attempts in Baton Rouge.

"We've got to give a lot of credit to South Carolina," head coach Nikki Caldwell said. "I thought they did a nice job, especially in the second half, of competing on the offensive end. When we were trying to cut into their lead, I thought we had some momentum going in our favor. But, with the swing of a couple of calls, the game was shifted. It went from a one-possession game to a three-possession game in a matter of minutes. When you're playing a team like South Carolina, it's going to be hard to dig yourself out of a hole. They did a nice job today, especially when you look at what Aleighsa Welch and Tiffany Mitchell brought to the table."

Kenney knocked down a trio of three-pointers to bring her career total to 119, one shy of tying Scholanda Hoston (2001-06) for seventh place on LSU's all-time list. It marked the sixth time that Kenney has reached 15-plus points this season.

Theresa Plaisance secured 14 points and six rebounds. The 14 points enabled Plaisance to extend her run to 15 straight games with double figures and allowed her to eclipse April Brown (1997-2000) for 24th on LSU's all-time scoring list.

Danielle Ballard had 10 points, six rebounds and two steals. The trio of Ballard, Kenney and Plaisance accounted for 17 of LSU's 25 field goals. The rest of the Lady Tigers were 8-of-31 from the floor.

Raigyne Moncrief had her run of four straight games with 10-plus points come to a close. She was limited to four points but chipped in a team-leading seven rebounds coupled with four assists.

Off the bench, DaShawn Harden and Rina Hill combined to turn in 10 of the team's 12 points.

South Carolina was sparked by Tiffany Mitchell and Aleighsa Welch, who tallied 19 points apiece. Aliana Coates came away with 13 points, eight rebounds and three steals in 17 minutes of action.

The Lady Tigers were 25-of-69 from the floor, 5-of-13 from three-point territory and 2-of-4 at the free throw line. South Carolina countered with a 23-for-47 shooting effort aided by six treys on 14 attempts. The Gamecocks also converted on 21-of-28 at the charity stripe – 24 of their 28 foul shot attempts came during the second half.