There’s green, then there’s “green green.”
“Green green is lights out, they’re hitting every single time,” LSU senior Akilah Bethel explained, poring over the Vanderbilt scouting report. “Green is, if they hesitate, they’re going to miss.”
Coming off a 53-35 loss to No. 10 Texas A&M where it nearly set school records for offensive futility, LSU’s not changing much from its defensive performance, where it held the Aggies to 36 percent.
The Lady Tigers are hoping, though, that the defensive pressure Thursday against Vanderbilt at 7 p.m. can produce run outs and open looks that, this time, go through the net.
“The shots were up, they just weren’t falling,” Bethel said of the 35 points and 13 field goals the Lady Tigers made against the Aggies. “We weren’t as aggressive as we were in the previous game, as far as taking it to them, getting the ball in the paint. We went away from what helped us win against Ole Miss.”
Both the points and field goals were the second-fewest in program history, trailing only a 1995 game against Vanderbilt.
These Commodores suffer from no such offensive troubles, shooting 37 percent from the 3-point line — good for second in the conference — and averaging a shade under 67 points per game. Vanderbilt has made five or more 3-pointers in 14 of their 16 games and shoots 47 percent from the field.
Vanderbilt guard Christa Reed, the SEC’s leader in 3-point percentage at 44.2 percent, could certainly draw a “green green” label during LSU’s scout. The goal, however, is to ensure she or her sharpshooting perimeter-mates don’t have an easy time getting the ball.
“One pass away defense is going to be key, and we’ve got to pick our poison,” LSU coach Nikki Fargas said. “They score in the paint, they score the three ball; and they get themselves to the free-throw line. We can’t give them everything. We are going to have to be disciplined to take away certain play action and make sure we guard and contest the three ball as hard as we possibly can.”
As far as remedying the offensive woes suddenly plaguing her team, Fargas employed another unusual practice tactic on Tuesday.
Citing her team’s lackluster second half against the Aggies — it made just five shots, scored 16 points and lost a four-point halftime lead — Fargas scheduled the whole practice to contain game situations, including a halftime break.
“We’re known for not coming out in the third quarter,” guard Jenna Deemer said. “Refocusing and not thinking that the game is over, whether we’re down or up, it’s the momentum and hustle plays.”