TAMPA — The LSU women’s basketball team dropped its season opener 61-55 against No. 23 South Florida on Friday at the Sun Dome.
Junior Chloe Jackson led the Lady Tigers in scoring with 21 points. She added seven rebounds, two blocks and a steal.
Raigyne Louis chipped in 11 points, nine rebounds and three assists.
Maria Jespersen led the Bulls with 20 points and nine rebounds, and Kitija Laksa added 16 points.
Jackson set the tempo for the Lady Tigers, scoring 15 of their 25 first-half points. Jackson also flashed her defensive prowess in the first quarter, collecting a steal and taking advantage of the turnover to drive down the court and tie the game up at eight apiece.
USF ended the first quarter on a 7-2 run to give them a 15-10 advantage, but the Lady Tigers fought back, going on an 8-3 run to start the second quarter to tie it at 18.
The teams traded baskets over the final few minutes of the first half before Jackson, with LSU down by six, hit a baseline 3-pointer to trim USF’s lead to 28-25 at halftime.
USF took advantage of a cold shooting stretch for the Lady Tigers to open the third quarter, going on a 13-5 run to increase the lead to 41-30. LSU trimmed the lead thanks to a Louis 3-pointer and two quick baskets from Cherry to wrap up the third.
A 3-pointer from Cherry and a follow-up jumper from Jackson pulled the Lady Tigers to within two, but they couldn’t bridge the gap to close out the game despite seven straight fourth-quarter points from Louis.
USF went 6-of-25 on 3-pointers, while LSU hit 3 of 8.
LSU’s defensive intensity was present as usual, but the Lady Tigers scored only 11 points off of 13 turnovers, including just four steals.
Home opener on Nov. 12
LSU's home opener will be Sunday, Nov. 12 against Southeastern Louisiana. LSU great Sylvia Fowles will have her jersey retired in a special pregame ceremony at 1:30 p.m.
Joining Fowles on that day will be her teammates from the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Women’s Final Four teams, who will be recognized at halftime. Tipoff for the game is 2 p.m.