11/19/14 Whoops vs Tulane

LSU sophomore guard Raigyne Moncrief (11) shoots the ball during the game Wednesday, November 19, 2014 where LSU lost 51-45 to Tulane in the PMAC.

The LSU women’s basketball team’s offensive woes continued on Wednesday night as the Lady Tigers fell, 51-45, to Tulane.

Although the Lady Tigers (2-2) only led the game for 4 minutes and 26 seconds, LSU did secure 19 offensive rebounds in the loss. LSU head coach Nikki Caldwell said her team can take positives out of the game, especially when it comes to defense and rebounding.

“The past few games, defensively, we’ve been pretty stingy,” Caldwell said. “Tonight, we out-rebounded our opponent. We got fourteen more shot attempts than they did.”

But the extra shot attempts weren’t enough as LSU shot only 34 percent from the field and 53 percent from the free throw line while turning the ball over 21 times. 

On the other side, Tulane (3-0) also turned the ball over more than 20 times, but made 47 percent of its shots and 67 percent of its free throws.

Part of the Green Wave’s high-percentage shooting can be attributed to its hot start. Tulane opened the game 5-for-6 from the field and 4-for-4 from the three-point line to jump ahead of the Lady Tigers, 14-6.

The Lady Tigers responded by holding the Green Wave to only seven points during the final 15 minutes of the half, but LSU’s offense couldn’t capitalize on Tulane’s lack of scoring.

Over the same time frame, the Lady Tigers scored only 12 points and turned the ball over eight times.

With 7:57 left in the first half, LSU began a possession that lasted 2 minutes and 24 seconds. The Lady Tigers secured five-straight offensive rebounds but ultimately failed to score as an offensive foul ended the possession.

Caldwell said she’s proud her team grabbed those rebounds, but they need to start making their extra opportunities count.

“You’ve got to look at the fact that they were that hungry getting on the glass,” Caldwell said. “If you give yourselves that many opportunities, we’ve got to convert it because we’re working our heart and putting everything into our defense. We’ve just got to capitalize on offense.”

Just before halftime, senior guard DaShawn Harden picked up a three-point play on a fast break and gave the Lady Tigers momentum going into the locker room. But LSU came out of the break with three missed shots and four turnovers.

Harden gave the Lady Tigers another boost, scoring four straight points to bring her team to within one.

Harden said she tries her best every game to bring a spark when she comes off the bench.

“I just try to bring as much energy and leadership as possible with the experience that I have from last year,” Harden said.

With 12:48 remaining in the game, LSU took its first lead thanks to freshman forward Stephanie Amichia’s layup. Tulane snatched the lead back quickly, but Amichia wasn’t done.

The freshman stole the ball from Tulane sophomore guard Courtnie Latham and took it all the way for a layup through contact to give LSU’s a 30-29 lead. Caldwell said she wants to find a way to get Amichia more minutes.

“Stephanie has this presence about her when she steps on the floor of toughness,” Caldwell said. “I’m going to have to have to really look and see where I can plug her in because she brings energy to our team.”

The Green Wave answered quickly as Tulane senior guard Danielle Blagg scored the first five of a 9-2 Tulane run to take a 40-35 lead with less than five minutes to play.

LSU scored eight of the next 10 points to grab the lead back, 43-42. But with only 58 seconds left, Tulane senior guard Jamie Kaplan banked in a runner to give the Green Wave the lead for good.

Tulane iced the game at the free throw line from there.

Caldwell said the end of the game showed Tulane’s experience and LSU’s youth.

“Down the stretch, [Tulane] made some big plays,” Caldwell said. “Veteran guards made big plays for them and made big baskets.”

The Lady Tigers will try to improve their late-game and offensive play on Saturday when they face Rutgers at home in the Sue Gunter Classic. Caldwell said she knows the Lady Tigers will need to play better to beat the Scarlet Knights.

“Rutgers is a very physical team,” Caldwell said. “They really do a nice job of defending on the ball, one pass away. It’s going to be a challenge for us. We were challenged with that type of defensive pressure with [University of Arkansas-Little Rock] and so we’re going to face it again. Hopefully, the outcome will be different.”

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