LSU overwhelmed Tulane with pressure defense and rebounding and broke the game open with a big third quarter in rolling to a 73-50 triumph in a women's basketball game Sunday at Fogelman Arena.
It was the biggest margin in the series since LSU won by 28 points on Jan. 5, 2014. The loss was the first in three home games for the Green Wave (5-5). The Lady Tigers (5-3) outrebounded Tulane 41-26, including 15-8 on offensive rebounds.
The Lady Tigers frustrated Wave leading scorer Kolby Morgan, holding her to 11 points on 3-of-11 shooting. Center Harlyn Wyatt was a bright spot for Tulane with a season-high 12 points, her fourth consecutive game in double figures.
Guard Chloe Jackson led LSU with 24 points, guard Raigyne Louis had 11 and center Ayana Mitchell 10. Even with the rebounding disparity, no Tiger had double-figure rebounders; instead, nearly every player hit the boards.
With defense turning into fast-break drives, LSU won the game with its strong performance in the third quarter, outscoring Tulane 25-15 after the Wave had fought back to trail by eight points at halftime. The Lady Tigers led by 18 points at the end of the third by shooting 62.5 percent (10 of 16), forcing six turnovers and holding the Wave to 5-of-14 shooting.
“We wanted to make sure we brought our defense on the road,” Lady Tigers coach Nikki Fargas said. “We really tried to take away the (3-pointer); that was key for us. We settled in defensively in the third quarter and were really able to get some turnovers with our pressure.
“Our defense on Kolby (the entire game) was key. She's an unbelievable player. It was knowing where she was out there and making sure we closed out with the correct hand.”
LSU led 29-21 at halftime on the strength of its interior defense and a 22-12 rebounding advantage. The interior defense fueled the Lady Tigers' fast break, and they scored 17 points off turnovers.
“I'm disappointed,” Tulane coach Lisa Stockton said after her team's second consecutive loss of at least 18 points to LSU. “I think we're a better team than that.
“The second quarter, I thought we found our confidence. But LSU came out of the locker room (for the third quarter) and made some plays and put us in a real big hole.”
The rebounding particularly was a Wave killer. LSU had eight offensive rebounds, including two each by Mitchell and guard Khayla Pointer, and the Lady Tigers had three putbacks in the half.
The Lady Tigers, who entered the game 7 of 54 on 3-point tries, got back-to-back 3s by Jackson and another by Jaelyn Richard-Harris in a 9-0 burst that produced a 21-6 lead.
However, Tulane managed to stay in the game. Wyatt answered with a 10-footer and scored six points in an 11-2 run that brought the Wave to 23-17. Tulane trailed 25-21 after point guard Kayla Manuirirangi got a rebound and passed to power forward Maddison Wells on the break for a layup.
LSU then went inside, with 6-5 center Faustine Aifuwa and Mitchell getting consecutive low-post backets.
The Lady Tigers went on a 10-0 run to take a 10-2 lead in the first quarter on their way to a 12-6 margin at quarters' end. Tualne shot 2 of 12, and LSU had five offensive rebounds.
LSU next will play Louisiana-Lafayette at home next Sunday. Tulane will play Middle Tennessee at home that day.