LSU’s Raigyne Moncrief (11) gets control of a ball she stole from TCU’s Amber Ramirez (4) in the second half of LSU's 67-61 win over TCU Sunday in LSU's Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

Advocate Staff Photo by PATRICK DENNIS

It’s all work and no play for the LSU women’s basketball team while in Waco, Texas, this week for the start of the women's NCAA tournament.

The Lady Tigers arrived in the home of Dr. Pepper on Thursday, a few days before their game against California. While some teams choose to go on a team bonding trip at night or do a little sightseeing between practices, LSU kept the trip strictly business, team spokeswoman Jennifer Rodrigues said.

For the most part, the team has been either practicing at Baylor’s Ferrell Center or have been back at the hotel for study hall. However, the Lady Tigers did go out to eat at local steakhouse Diamondback’s on Friday night.

Saturday night marked the Lady Tigers’ return to the Big Dance after missing the NCAA tournament last season. It was only the second March spent without any madness for LSU since 1997.

No woman left behind

All players who were expected to make the trip to Waco did this week as LSU avoided any last-minute surprises before leaving Baton Rouge.

The only player not to join the Lady Tigers was junior guard Jenna Deemer,who has been out with an undisclosed illness most of the season.

It was a sigh of relief for LSU, which spent the last half of last season with as few as six players because of injuries.

“(Last season) really took a lot out of our kids emotionally, physically, playing six players,” LSU coach Nikki Fargas said. “So this past summer you really had to be careful in giving them that quality time off, and then we're dialing it back up again. You can't scout. You can't prepare. You can't overlook injuries. It's just something that's part of the game more and more.”

Moncrief continues to climb

LSU junior guard Raigyne Moncrief has a chance to extend her single-season school record for steals Saturday night against Cal.

Moncrief’s quick hands have already led to 106 steals this season.

Saturday night could also see her move up on LSU’s career list. She sits one steal behind No. 7 Scholanda Hoston (2001-06). Moncrief is the only Lady Tiger to reach the top 10 in fewer than 100 games. She’s currently at 96 career steals.

With one more year of eligibility remaining, Moncrief is 116 steals behind the program’s all-time leader Pokey Chatman (1987-91).

Follow Mike Gegenheimer on Twitter, @Mike_Gegs.