Lady Tigers Pull Away from Georgia, 57-46

Lady Tigers Pull Away from Georgia, 57-46

POSTED: Thursday, February 19, 2009 - 11:43pm

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 11:57pm

Junior guard Allison Hightower led all scorers with 16 points, and the LSU women’s basketball team put together a 10-0 run late in the second half to pull away from Georgia and win its second straight by a score of 57-46 on Thursday night at Stegeman Coliseum.

Freshman forward LaSondra Barrett added 15 points and 10 rebounds for her second career double-double for LSU, who improved to 14-9 overall and 7-4 in Southeastern Conference play with three regular season games remaining on the schedule.

Georgia (15-11, 5-6) lost its fourth straight contest, representing the first four-game losing streak for the Lady Bulldogs in head coach Andy Landers’ 30-plus seasons.

“This was a huge all-around victory for our program tonight,” LSU head coach Van Chancellor said. “For our team to come in here and win this is just great because we have a lot of respect for Georgia and Coach (Andy) Landers. They are well coached and a good team. Hightower and Barrett were really good for us, but this was a total team effort. We only turned the ball over 10 times and broke even on the boards.”

Riding the momentum of its smothering defensive performance against No. 9 Florida, LSU’s defense rose to the occasion again holding Georgia to 34.7 percent for the game on 17-of-49 shooting.

The Lady Tigers turned 15 Lady Bulldog turnovers into 19 points while racking up eight steals. Hightower had three steals, a block, six rebounds and was 8-of-19 from the floor to reach double figures for the 11th straight game.

LSU has held four SEC opponents to 50 points or less. The Lady Tigers managed 52 points from its starters in a balanced attack, including senior forward Kristen Morris who added eight points and six boards.

LSU held an 11-point lead in the first two minutes of the second half, but the Lady Bulldogs slowly worked the deficit down to three points, 40-37, on a Christy Marshall layup with 11:55 to play.

Porsha Phillips’ layup at the 7:57 mark made it a 42-39 contest before LSU put together the decisive 10-0 run.

Latear Eason picked up a steal and drove the length of floor for a layup of her own that made it 44-39. Hightower followed with a baseline runner, and Barrett worked her way through the lane for a left-handed layup that put LSU back up, 48-39.

Hightower immediately contributed with one of her three steals and her layup with 4:38 to play made it 50-39 and forced a Georgia timeout. Morris buried two free throws to culminate the 10-0 spurt with 3:34 left in the game.

Graham converted an old fashioned 3-point play on a layup and a foul that put the final touches on the victory to increase the lead to 55-41 with 2:26 to go.

Angel Robinson led the Lady Bulldogs with 15 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. Christy Marshall and Ashley Houts contributed eight points apiece.

LSU led by as many as nine points in the first stanza following an Andrea Kelly 3-pointer that made it 19-10 in favor of the Lady Tigers with 9:33 left. Georgia missed eight of its first nine shots and finished the first half at 36 percent from the floor on 9-of-25 shooting.

The Lady Bulldogs closed to within four points down the stretch. Danielle Taylor drained a 3-pointer, and Ashley Houts converted a turnover into fast break points to close the gap to 21-17. Barrett came up big scoring 11 out of LSU’s last 13 points of the half to go along with seven boards.

Georgia missed its five final shots of the first half and was held scoreless from the floor in the final 4:17 as the Lady Tigers claimed a 32-25 advantage into the locker room.

The Lady Tigers return home to face the Kentucky Wildcats at 2 p.m. CST Sunday in the Maravich Center.