BATON ROUGE – Junior forward LaSondra Barrett scored all 20 of her points in the second half and added 10 rebounds for her ninth career double-double as the LSU women’s basketball team smothered Alabama, 72-43, for their first Southeastern Conference victory on Sunday afternoon at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
The Lady Tigers (11-6, 1-2) snapped an 0-2 start to SEC play with a convincing effort from the start, outscoring the Crimson Tide 8-0 in the first six minutes. LSU was coming off a tough loss at South Carolina, but the effects showed little on Sunday as the Lady Tigers improved to 54-5 under head coach Van Chancellor when holding a team under 50 points.
Alabama (11-5, 0-3) dropped its third consecutive game and its 12th straight to LSU. Eleven of the 12 games were of the double-digit margin and the Tide remained winless in Baton Rouge since 1998.
Alabama forward Tierney Jenkins, the national leader in double-doubles with 11, was held to only four points on 1-of-12 shooting. Jenkins came into the contest averaging an SEC-best 18.3 points per game. She had scored in double-figures in every game this season prior to Sunday’s loss.
“If there was ever a team that needed a win, the Lady Tigers needed to win,” said Chancellor. “I thought defensively, that’s the best defense we’ve played all year against a team that is really difficult for us to defend. We did a nice job on (Tierney) Jenkins, the leading scorer in this league. I thought Taylor Turnbow was pretty good there. We rebounded the ball better today than we have all year. We were really dominant on the boards.”
Barrett continued her recent scoring spree and it came after she shrugged off an 0-for-3 first half. She finished 7-of-15 from the floor and became the first Lady Tiger since Allison Hightower last season to register back-to-back 20-point games.
Two other LSU players finished in double-figures. Adrienne Webb added 13 points and was 3-of-3 from three-point land, while freshman Jeanne Kenney notched 11 points and saw significant action.
Alabama missed its first 11 shots and it helped Turnbow and Katherine Graham build an 8-0 lead for the Lady Tigers. Webb then scored eight straight points highlighted by a pair of threes to increase the advantage to 16-4. Kenney got in on the action with lay-up and a jumper that made it 20-4 with 8:17 left in the first half.
The Tide went the first 13 minutes with only two field goals by freshman Kaneisha Horn. They finally got back on the scoreboard when Ericka Russell nailed a trey from the top of the key with 6:30 left in the half. LSU led 25-13 at the break. It represented the second-fewest points by an opponent in the first half on the Lady Tigers this season.
LSU padded the lead with a 14-0 run in the first seven minutes of the second stanza. That’s when Barrett came alive with seven points during the spurt. LSU outscored the Tide, 20-2, in the first 10 minutes that sealed the Lady Tigers’ first SEC win of the season. Barrett and Webb put the finishing touches on with threes on consecutive possessions down the floor.
“We just became a smarter team,” said Chancellor. “We have an All-SEC player (Barrett); we just got her the ball more. It’s what we should have done in the first half. We didn’t get her enough touches. We changed the offense a little bit.”
LSU shot 51.6 percent in the second half and finished at 37.0 percent (10-of-27) for the game. The Tide struggled at 24.6 percent for the game, including a 16.7 percent effort in the first 20 minutes. Horn finished with a team-high 13 points.