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LSU Women comes back to beat Alabama

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BATON ROUGE, La. --- The LSU women’s basketball team rallied to defeat the Alabama Crimson Tide, 48-41, here at the Maravich Center Sunday afternoon. LSU improves to 16-7 overall; 5-5 in the SEC, while Alabama drops to 15-8 overall; 3-7 in league play.

The Lady Tigers forced Alabama to turn the ball over 25 times, and scored 28 points off of the miscues. This is the 13th time this season that the Lady Tigers have forced 20 or more turnovers in a game. LSU came into the game averaging nearly 23 points a game off turnovers. LSU tallied 15 steals and held the advantage in the paint, 24-16. The Tide outrebounded LSU, 40-34. This is LSU’s 12-consecutive win over Alabama at the PMAC.

Junior Raigyne Moncrief led the Lady Tigers in scoring with 19 points on 8-of-17 shooting from the field. She also recorded eight rebounds to enter the 500-Rebound club at LSU. She is the 29th Lady Tiger all-time to amass 500 rebounds, and the 19th player to have at least 1,000 points and 500 rebounds. Moncrief, who came into the game ranked No. 6 nationally in steals, grabbed a team-leading five steals.

Freshman Ayana Mitchell contributed nine points and four rebounds, and was 5-of-8 from the free-throw line. Senior Jasmine Rhodes and sophomore Chloe Jackson each tallied seven points, and Rhodes grabbed eight rebounds. Alexis Hyder also posted six points and five rebounds.

The LSU defense got off to a strong start recording three steals that helped the Lady Tigers jump out to a 14-4 lead, scoring 10 points off of turnovers. Rebounding was also a major contributor in LSU being able to jump out to the early lead, tallying seven rebounds, three offensive. Just when it seemed as though Alabama could be gaining a little momentum by scoring four points in a row, Moncrief hit a jumper with the shot clock winding down with less than a minute to go in the first quarter. The quarter finished with LSU holding a 17-10 lead over Alabama.

Most of the second quarter was defined by both offenses having difficulty getting the ball in the hoop. For a 4:38 stretch, neither team was able to record a field goal. The only scoring during that span was five free throws by Alabama and only one by LSU. In part, that was due to great defense as LSU recorded six of their 10 first-half steals during the second quarter. The scoring difficulty for the Lady Tigers continued however, as they were not able to find their stroke during the quarter. Alabama finished the half on an 8-2 run and outscored LSU, 14-8, in the second quarter as LSU took a 25-24 lead into the locker room at the half after being up by as many as 10 points.

Alexis Hyder was able to end LSU’s field goal drought quickly by beginning the second half with a quick layup. On the next play, Moncrief recorded her fifth rebound of the game, which was her 500th rebound in her career at LSU. Alabama then went on a 9-2 run to gain the 39-35 advantage heading into the fourth period.

A jumper by Moncrief and pair of free throws from Chloe Jackson tied the game up at 39. Mitchell then hit a layup while getting fouled and completed the three-point play to give LSU a three-point lead. LSU’s defense only allowed two points in the fourth quarter to the Crimson Tide and limited them to seven percent field goal shooting (1-14). Free-throw shooting and rebounding down the stretch allowed the Lady Tigers to hold on to their lead and win the game, 48-41.

Jordan Lewis led Alabama with 13 points while also recording three rebounds and two assists. Ashley Knight finished up with nine points and six rebounds.

The Lady Tigers will be on the road for the next two games, facing Ole Miss on Thursday and Vanderbilt on Monday. The Vanderbilt matchup will be carried by SEC Network, and is the first of two games for the Lady Tigers against the Commodores. LSU will return to the PMAC on Thursday, Feb. 16, for the Play4Kay “Pink” game against Texas A&M.

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