It wasn’t anything Raigyne Louis hadn’t done before.
There’s nothing surprising about the reigning Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year picking a point guard’s pocket. There’s nothing shocking about LSU's best scorer hitting a layup. And there’s nothing out of the ordinary about her drawing a foul and hitting a free shot from the stripe.
In theory, nothing changed.
In reality, LSU never would’ve defeated Southeastern Louisiana 84-56 on Sunday without it.
Southeastern, hot from 3-point range, led LSU 23-15 with 6:31 to play in the first half when Louis completed a three-point play. By the time the Lady Tigers (1-1) went to the locker room for halftime, they had a 26-3 run and a big lead.
It all started with Louis doing what she’s done so many times before.
“I think we just amped it up defensively,” Louis said. “They were knocking down a lot of 3s — unprotected 3s — and we weren’t protecting the ball. (I was) just getting into the passing lanes like the rest of my teammates were doing and making something happen offensively.”
Louis described the mood of the team for the first quarter and a half as being frustrated with itself for not executing and letting SLU attack from the perimeter.
Before the turnover, the Lions were 7 of 10 from beyond the arc, accounting for all but two of their points.
But coach Nikki Fargas changed LSU's defense to more man-to-man coverage as the team rallied behind Louis’ play.
The result was 30 Southeastern turnovers, including 14 LSU steals. Louis led the team with five steals, with three coming during the streak just before half.
SLU only made 2 of 13 tries from 3-point range the rest of the day.
“I thought we did a nice job of adjusting and running more of our full-court pressure,” Fargas said. “I think I gave them some fits. I thought we eliminated a lot of the shot clock for (SLU) in the half-court setting, which then you’re not having to chase or run around a lot. We played a lot more man today, and when you play a team that has more of a guard look, you can’t stay in that matchup as much, because you do have the threat of the 3 ball and the dribble-drive.”
LSU also tried to shoot more 3s on Sunday, but the Lady Tigers had less success, hitting just 1 of 15 from distance.
It was the most 3-point attempts for LSU since playing SLU in 2014, keeping the promise Fargas made that LSU would shoot more 3s this season after finishing last in 3-point attempts in Division I in 2016-17.
Freshman Khayla Pointer had the lone successful 3.
“It felt good to be able to shoot more,” said junior guard Chloe Jackson. “It felt good getting comfortable and in the song of things. We didn’t force it; it was just there. If it’s open, we’re going to take it.”