To LSU women’s basketball coach Nikki Caldwell’s way of thinking, her Lady Tigers can react in one of two ways to their first loss of the young season, a 65-62 overtime defeat Saturday at Tulane.
“You can either look at this loss and carry it with you and keep doing the same things you have been doing, which is not boxing out, not being great in our closeouts defensively,” Caldwell said. “Or you can say, ‘I get it now, Coach.’ It’s about LSU, how do you want to play this game? You can’t allow teams to outwork you, and you can’t allow teams to out-hustle you.”
No. 20-ranked LSU will get a chance to display an attitude adjustment this week, as the Lady Tigers host back-to-back games at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Monday and Northwestern on Tuesday. Both games will tip off at 7 p.m.
LSU (2-1) rallied from a 10-point deficit in the final 11:08 at Tulane on Saturday to force overtime despite the Green Wave’s 10-of-20 3-point shooting. Meanwhile, LSU was 2-of-11 behind the arc.
With the game tied 62-62, Tulane’s Danielle Bragg made a layup and a free throw in the final seconds to send the Lady Tigers to their first defeat at Tulane since 1999. Coupled with a win at LSU last season, it is the first time the Green Wave has beaten the Lady Tigers in back-to-back seasons.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff is 0-3 with all three losses coming on the road: at Nebraska, at San Diego State and at Memphis. UAPB is making its first trip to LSU since Nov. 27, 1987, when the Lady Tigers won the season-opening Thanksgiving Invitational, 96-55.
Tuesday, LSU will look to avenge last year’s season-opening loss to Northwestern in Evanston, Ill. The Wildcats (3-0) have a balanced scoring attack with four players averaging double-figures, led by Kendall Hackey with 16.3 points per game.
Northwestern will be playing at LSU for the first time. The Wildcats lead the series 2-1, with the other two contests being played at neutral sites.
“We need to play a complete 40 minutes of basketball, and that is what we will be looking for Monday,” Caldwell said. “We have to be respectful for everybody that we play.”
Senior forward LaSondra Barrett continues to lead LSU in scoring with 12.7 points per game. Barrett has been a double-figure scorer in all three of the Lady Tigers’ contests this season.
Jeanne Kenney is second on the team with 8.7 points per game and leads the team in 3-point shooting, having drained 5-of-12 beyond the arc. Courtney Jones is LSU’s leading rebounder with 5.7 per game.
Both games will be carried live on the LSU Sports Radio Network on 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge. Live streaming video and audio is available by subscription at http://www.LSUsports.net/live.
Tuesday’s game will also be shown live on Cox Sports Television.
Tickets are $6 for adult general admission and $3 for children. LSU students are admitted for free.