PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Rutgers outscored LSU 18-8 in the third quarter, and the deficit was too much for the Lady Tigers to overcome as they dropped a 69-57 decision to the Scarlet Knights on Saturday afternoon at the Rutgers Athletic Center.
Alexis Hyder led LSU (6-5) with 16 points and seven rebounds, six of which were offensive. She was 5-of-16 from the field and 6-of-8 from the free-throw line. Anne Pedersen came off the bench to score a season-high 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Rina Hill added 10 points and four assists.
Four scored in double figures for the Scarlet Knights (9-3), led by Tyler Scaife’s 18 points. Kahleah Copper scored 15, Shrita Parker 12 and Khadaizha Sanders 11 points. Rachel Hollivay led Rutgers with six blocked shots.
After trailing 37-34 at halftime, the Lady Tigers struggled in the third quarter, missing eight straight field goals between the 8:00 and 1:16 marks before Pedersen snapped the streak with two consecutive jumpers at the end of the period.
“We didn’t bounce back coming out of the half,” LSU coach Nikki Fargas said. “We didn’t play with a lot of defensive intensity. They outscored us by 10 points in the third quarter, and you have to play every possession. This was a game that was in our control. I felt that in the first half we did what we needed to do to position ourselves to score the basketball, but in the start of the third quarter, we allowed Rutgers to get in a rhythm and generate their offense.
“I think our kids did what they needed to do to show they can play at this level but we have to do it for 40 minutes,” Fargas said.
LSU and Rutgers battled in the first half. Both teams were 14-of-27 from the field in the first half, but Rutgers’ lead came primarily off three straight possessions on which they hit 3-pointers. Before that, both teams were a combined 0-of-8 from 3-point range.
LSU will meet top-ranked UConn (8-0) at 6 p.m. Monday at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut. The game will be broadcast by SportsNet New York. The LSU Sports Radio Network will broadcast the game on WBRP-FM, 107.3.