WoThe Lady Tigers basketball team tied its longest losing streak of the season with two more losses in conference play.
LSU was not expected to beat No.11 Mississippi State on Thursday, and the Tigers lived up to those expectations, falling to the Bulldogs 71-52 in Baton Rouge.
Again the Tigers were limited with their lineup. Anne Jones and Jenna Deemer were unavailable. Akilah Bethel played her second straight game with a mask after breaking her nose in practice on Sunday.
The Tigers did their best to keep the game close early and took a very brief one point lead early in the second quarter on an Alexis Hyder free throw. From that point, Mississippi State began playing like one of the best teams in the country, ending the quarter on a 20-5 run.
Mississippi State’s domination continued in the second half. At no point was the double-digit lead the Bulldogs held in the second half ever at risk of being reduced to single digits and most of the 4th quarter LSU trailed by twenty plus points.
Shanice Norton led all Tigers in scoring with 15 points while Bethel and Rina Hill had ten each. Shooting 39% from the field for the game, the Tigers could not keep up with the Bulldog offense which shot close to 50% for the game.
Sunday against No.18 Kentucky in Lexington, the Tigers lost 70-58 in a game which LSU never held the lead.
The game turned ugly quickly as the Tigers were down by double-digits just 5:48 into the game and down by 15 at the end of the first quarter. From that point, the Kentucky lead never fell below 11 points. The Wildcats shot a blistering 54% from the field in this game.
Hyder recorded her seventh double-double of the season with 16 points and a career best 15 rebounds. Hill posted a career best 17 points.
The Tigers have had their fair share of blowout losses this season. However, with the toughest group of conference games coming up to close out the season, big losses could be frequent than usual throughout the final part of the season.
If you need a positive at this point in the season, it’s probably the play of Hyder. After getting off to a bit of a rough start, including losing her starting role for a while, she has found her game with the Tigers, providing the scoring and rebounding she was expected to bring from North Texas.