The LSU women’s basketball team concluded what had been a historically bad season with a 79-71 loss to Kentucky in the second round of the SEC Tournament. With the loss the Tigers set a program record for losses in a season at 21.
Like had been the case so often this season, the Tigers offense struggled. Against Kentucky, LSU made just five field goals in the first quarter. The Wildcats took advantage, holding a 13 point lead with just under four minutes remaining in the first quarter and ended the quarter up 11. Kentucky spent a bulk of the game leading the Tigers by double-digits.
Statistically, the Tigers offense was only mediocre in this game, shooting 40% for the game including 40% from beyond the three-point line. Kentucky countered with 47 % from the field and with such a big lead early, put the Tigers in no position to catch up
LSU did attempt to make the final tally a little more tolerable, outscoring Kentucky 29-21 in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately by the time LSU got the lead down to under double-digits, there was just 3:06 remaining in regulation. Kentucky would begin to hit free throws as the Tigers fouled and Akilah Bethel would hit one final shot to conclude the eight point loss.
Alexis Hyder had another strong performance in the defeat, with 23 points and 10 rebounds for her 10th double-double of the year. She also tied an SEC record for second most free throws made in an SEC Tournament game with nine. Bethel also had a double-double on 17 points and 10 rebounds. Shanice Norton added ten points. Kentucky was led by Janee Thompson and Mckayla Epps with 17 each.
The big positive from Thursday’s loss is that the disaster of the season is over. The 2016-2017 season began when the clock hit zero. Between now and the 2016 home opener, seniors will depart, injuries will heal, and the entire department will assess all the problems this year to make sure they are resolved for next.