New Orleans – Danielle Blagg scored a game-high 22 points, including a game-winning layup with 1.2 seconds left to break a tie, as Tulane stunned the 20th-ranked LSU women 65-62 in overtime Saturday night at Fogelman Arena.
The Lady Tigers (2-1) dropped their second straight game to the Green Wave, which beat LSU on its home floor last season for the first time since 1999.
"Give Tulane a lot of credit, they made plays when they needed to," LSU coach Nikki Caldwell said. "This is a game we will definitely learn from and we will be better from it. We had some miscommunication at the end of the game, but games like this shouldn't come down to one play. We can't allow a team to out-rebound us on the road. We missed a lot of closeouts and missed a lot of our rotations (defensively)."
Tulane leading scorer Olivia Grayson, who was the catalyst for the Wave's win in Baton Rouge last season, was shut out through the first stanza. Grayson then responded with 21 points in the second half and buried four 3-pointers. The Green Wave shot 10-of-20 from beyond the arc for the game despite committing 24 turnovers, which LSU converted into 24 points.
"Grayson made some big baskets and had an unbelievable second half," Caldwell said. "When you face players that are feeling good about their offensive game, defensively, we have to be able to accept that challenge of shutting them down. We didn't (Saturday)."
The Lady Tigers out-shot Tulane from the floor, finishing at 42.6 percent for the game. LaSondra Barrett led LSU with 11 points and freshman Krystal Forthan scored 10 points off the bench.
LSU led 26-23 at halftime before falling behind as many as 10 points with 11:08 to go in regulation. Grayson scored Tulane's first 10 points of the second half and the Green Wave put together a 15-6 spurt out of the locker room. Jamie Kaplan's three increased the Tulane advantage to double-digits, 46-36.
A 13-4 run over the next 8 minutes by LSU finally put the Lady Tigers back in front, culminating with a Bianca Lutley lay-up at the 3:51 mark that made it 50-49. The teams traded 3 with under 2 minutes to play by Grayson and Jeanne Kenney.
Tulane held a 58-57 lead with 8.5 seconds left in regulation. Lutley missed a runner through the lane, but Kenney gathered the rebound and drew a foul with 1.4 seconds left. She swished the first one to tie the game, but missed the second as time expired in regulation.
For the second time in three years, LSU and Tulane played overtime in Fogelman Arena. Barrett got the Lady Tigers on the board first, but the Green Wave scored four straight points and converted an errant pass from Destini Hughes into points. Forthan answered with a clutch shot to tie it at 62 with 23 seconds left in overtime.
The Wave took a timeout with 2 seconds remaining and got the ball underneath their basket. Kaplan found a wide open Blagg in the paint and she laid it in, drew a foul on Forthan and made the ensuing free throw. A half court heave by Kenney as time expired bounced off the backboard as Tulane pulled the upset, 65-62.