After a pair of close but disappointing losses at home, perhaps what the LSU women’s basketball team needs is a change of scene.
They’ll get that for sure, as the Lady Tigers will spend Thanksgiving week south of the border in the Hardwood Tournament of Hope in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
The three-game tournament begins for LSU at 2:30 p.m. against Santa Clara. After Santa Clara, LSU plays UTEP at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday and concludes the event with a 5 p.m. game Thanksgiving Day against Kansas State.
None of the three games will be televised, but they can be heard in Baton Rouge on WBRP-FM 107.3 or in the Geaux Zone at LSUSports.net.
The Lady Tigers rebounded from a poor effort last Monday in a 52-44 overtime win against Jackson State to play better but still lose 51-45 to Tulane and 64-57 to then-No. 22 Rutgers. The losses dropped LSU to 2-3, all five early season games played at home.
The Lady Tigers are led by sophomore guard Raigyne Moncrief, LSU’s only double figure scorer with 10.0 points per game. She also leads the team with 7.0 rebounds per contest.
Junior forward Akilah Bethel, a transfer from West Virginia, continues to show promise. She averaged 10.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in the Lady Tigers’ three games last week.
DaShawn Harden, LSU’s only senior, averages 8.0 points and 2.4 steals off the bench.
Santa Clara (2-1) opened the season with an 80-69 loss to UC-Riverside but rebounded with wins over San Francisco State (87-41) and UC-Santa Barbara (47-33).
The Broncos, who play out of the West Coast Conference, are led in scoring by 5-7 senior guard Nici Gilday (11.0 points per game) and 6-3 post player Vanessa Leo (10.0 points, 9.5 rebounds per game).
LSU and Santa Clara have met only once in women’s basketball, with the Lady Tigers prevailing 84-78 in the first round of the 2002 NCAA tournament in Boulder, Colorado.