The Tigers won their third straight game of the season 59-53 over Long Beach State, but may have lost their top player Raigyne Moncrief for the season.
Moncrief did not dress for the game and the knee injury dates back to 2014 when she tore her ACL during the NCAA Tournament. Head coach Nikki Fargas said that Moncrief had "ongoing" issues with the knee and had been limited in practice to start the season. Fargas did not officially rule out Moncrief for the rest of season, but did say Moncrief will need surgery on the knee.
In her absence, the Tigers offense once again was powered by Jenna Deemer, who led the Tigers in scoring with 17, marking the second straight game the sophomore guard has led LSU in points, notching 19 against Arkansas Little Rock on Wednesday.
Ann Jones had a strong night off the bench with 14 points and eight rebounds. Akilah Bethel, starting in place of Moncrief, posted a team best nine rebounds and matched Rina Hill with four assists. Alexis Hyder pulled down six rebounds and scored six.
In all, six Tigers finished with three or more rebounds, and the Tigers out rebounded Long Beach State, 41-33. The Tigers had a better night from the free throw line, shooting 75%. LSU had one of its better defensive nights, holding Long Beach State to just 31.3% from the field, including 1-22 from three point range. This from a Big West team which averages 9.3 threes made per game, 26th in the country.
The game got off to a slow start with the first points not coming until the 7:10 mark in the 1st quarter when Hyder made a layup which began a 9-0 Tiger run. LSU never trailed and led by as many as 13 in the first half, but the 49ers trailed by just one entering half time. The lead would evaporate early in the third quarter when Long Beach State took a 27-26 lead with 9:11 remaining in the third. From that point, the teams traded scores, with no team leading by more than three.
With the game tied at 35 with 4:58 left in the third, Shanice Norton hit one of two free throws to give the Tigers the lead, which they would not relinquish for the remainder of the game.
Up next the Tigers travel south to take on Tulane in New Orleans.