Venturing on the road for the first time in Southeastern Conference play, the LSU women’s basketball team’s trek to Florida might include unveiling a tweaked offensive identity.
After an 84-79 victory over Ole Miss on Thursday, coach Nikki Caldwell hinted that there may be an effort to work more in the halfcourt and with a bigger lineup of forwards Theresa Plaisance and Bianca Lutley.
The shift to a larger front line and slowing the pace proved critical for LSU (10-4, 1-0) in subduing Ole Miss, which shot 44.6 percent, including 10 of 22 from behind the 3-point line.
The Tigers shot just 1 of 4 in the final five minutes but were able to get to the line to seal the victory, hitting 5 of 8 free throws in the final two minutes.
“We did slow the ball down,” Caldwell said. “If we had numbers, we went after it. If not, we pulled back and ran our action, and we were patient.”
The Gators (11-4, 0-1) pose another test to an LSU team searching for consistency on defense, too. Florida is third in the SEC at 74.5 points per game, while LSU is last, allowing 66.1. Forward Jennifer George leads the Gators at 14.6 points per game.
“She’s a dominant player for them around the block and on the glass,” Caldwell said. “Transition defense is also going to be key. We can’t allow them to get second and third opportunities.”
Yet Caldwell sounded a note of confidence, too.
“We’re a team that every game is going to be a battle for us,” she said. “We’re definitely figuring out what our defensive identity is going to be, but this team found a way to win.”