On the final day of the regular season, the LSU women’s basketball team (25-4, 13-3) wrapped up the No. 2 seed in this week’s upcoming SEC Tournament with a 57-54 win over Tennessee.
Early on it looked like LSU would cruise toward the win going up by as many as 18 points in the first half. But Tennessee’s defense flummoxed LSU in the second half switching back from zone to man and held the Tigers to just five made baskets in the entire third and fourth quarters. LSU was only able to manage a single point over the game’s final 5:22.
But Tennessee would never be able to tie the game let alone take the lead because LSU’s defense was pretty stout too (Tennessee shot 37 percent in the second half, 31 percent for the game).
LSU went into Sunday’s game without Alexis Morris, who hurt her knee against Alabama on Thursday. Morris will not be available for the SEC Tournament but LSU is hoping to have her back for the NCAA Tournament which begins on March 18.
Without Morris, the LSU guard play took a step back. Jalin Cherry led LSU in scoring with 14 points but needed 16 shots to get there. Khayla Pointer had a miserable day scoring 12 points but going 3-17 from the floor and 5-10 from the line. But Pointer was able to make a clutch free throw with 3.5 seconds to give LSU a three-point lead rather than a two and she also grabbed a team-leading 14 rebounds.
Still despite the ugly second half, LSU went into one of the toughest buildings in the SEC if not the entire country and beat a Tennessee team that will not only make the NCAA Tournament but likely be one of those top-four teams (like LSU) that will get to host tournament games on campus.
March is upon us which means it’s all about surviving and advancing, it doesn’t matter if it’s by one point or 100 we’re in the business of winning conference and national titles. LSU will play Friday, March 4, against the winner of Kentucky-Mississippi State.