STORRS, Conn. -- The LSU women’s basketball team amassed a 26-0 first-half run that crippled Howard and paved the way for a dominating 69-39 victory over the Bison in the third game of the World Vision Challenge on Saturday in Gampel Pavilion.
LSU (4-3) won its second straight game in what was the first meeting between the two teams. The Lady Tigers shot 59.3 percent (16-of-27) in the first half that led to a 44-12 advantage into the locker room. LSU head coach Van Chancellor emptied his bench for most of the second half and the Lady Tigers finished at 49.1 percent for the game.
“That was the best half of basketball we’ve played all season,” said Chancellor. “We were on fire there offensively and shot the three-ball as well as we could.”
Sophomore guard Adrienne Webb had 16 points – all in the first half – and All-Southeastern Conference forward LaSondra Barrett led the Lady Tigers with 17 points, four assists and two steals. Freshman Jeanne Kenney added seven and senior guard Andrea Kelly fired in two treys in her most extensive action of the season.
“Webb and “Boogie” (LaSondra Barrett) were on fire,” said Chancellor. “Everyone played well during that stretch. We came out with some intensity and did what we were supposed to do.”
As a team, LSU drained 10 three-pointers, tying for the third most in school history and the most in six years. The Lady Tigers made 10 three-pointers at Alabama on Feb. 5, 2004. The 10 treys were two shy of the school record of 12 set on Feb. 9, 1995.
LSU trailed 7-5 following a jumper by Saadia Doyle before going on an offensive explosion. Courtney Jones had a lay-up and Kenney buried a three from the left wing. Webb then poured in the next 13 points in an impressive display that featured three treys and two lay-ups. The sophomore single-handedly gave the Lady Tigers a 26-7 lead with 7:41 left in the first half.
Kenney chipped in a short jumper and Barrett got into the three-point barrage with one of her own from the top of the key to finish off the 26-0 spurt. Meanwhile, LSU’s defense shutdown the Bison during the run holding Howard scoreless from the field for over 10 minutes. They finally got on the board with 5:59 to go in the half.
Chancellor played his starters for the first six minutes of the second half before letting several reserves see the floor. Kelly made two threes and freshman Shanece McKinney registered her first career points with four in the second half.
Howard (2-5) outscored the Lady Tigers, 27-25, in the final stanza, but LSU held the Bison to 32.1 percent from the floor for the entire game.
LSU now faces top-ranked Connecticut for the World Vision Challenge championship at 3:30 p.m. CST Sunday. The game will be carried live on the LSU Sports Radio Network on 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge and in the Geaux Zone.
The two-time defending national champion Huskies (5-0) bring an NCAA women’s basketball record 83-game winning streak into the contest. They stand five wins shy of tying John Wooden’s legendary UCLA men’s teams winning streak and feature the nation’s premier player in Wade Trophy winner Maya Moore.
UConn leads the all-time series with LSU, 5-1. It will be the first meeting between the two teams since the Lady Tigers gave the Huskies a tough game on Jan. 3, 2009. LSU has eight current players who played in the game that went to top-ranked UConn by a score of 76-63 in Hartford.
“Everyone talks about how great their offense is but their defense is outstanding,” Chancellor said. “They have always been a great defensive basketball team. They can shoot, they can score at will and their players are always in the right place. They execute as well as any basketball team at any level.”