Forthan, LSU ladies blow past Hornets

Krystal Forthan paces Lady Tigers with 17 points and LSU cranks up their defense to spark a 20-2 second-half run that buries Alabama State.

Freshman Krystal Forthan scored a career-high 17 points and the LSU women compiled a 20-2 run in the second half to coast past Alabama State 67-35 Sunday at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

LSU (4-3) snapped a two-game losing streak.

Alabama State (2-3) trailed 29-21 at halftime, but the Hornets were not able to match the Lady Tigers' depth as LSU's bench outscored ASU's reserves 40-4 for the contest.

The Lady Tigers toughened up defensively in the final 20 minutes, limiting the Hornets to 20% shooting and forcing 30 turnovers for the game.

"We wanted to work and get some of our players a lot of minutes," LSU coach Nikki Caldwell said. "We went deep into our bench, and I thought our bench did a really good job of coming in and giving us some life. When we have an opportunity to give our bench some playing time, we definitely want to do that."

Forthan was dominant in the first half with 11 points in 2 minutes. The former Naismith High School Award finalist finished 8-of-11 from the floor and had 2 blocks in 17 minutes. In her past two games combined, Forthan is 15-of-21 from the floor with 32 points.

Adrienne Webb added 10 points and Jeanne Kenney put in 7 points to go along with a game-high 5 assists. Bianca Lutley blocked three shots and the Lady Tigers accounted for a season-high 12 blocks for the game. It was the first double-digit block game for LSU since swatting 10 against Texas Southern in 2008.

Forthan ignited the 20-2 run with a jumper at the 16-minute mark. Kenney then added a layup off a steal and fed Theresa Plaisance for a wide-open look that made it 41-27 LSU with 11:29 to go. Over the next 5 minutes, LSU scored 12 unanswered points, culminating with Courtney Jones' layup that increased the lead to 53-29.

The Hornets went 6 minutes without a bucket before Quentori Alford broke the dry spell with a jump shot with 5:38 remaining in the game. LSU converted 12 points off turnovers in the second half.

LSU shot 49 percent (24-of-49) for the game and held an opponent to 40 points or less for the third time this season. In four home games this season, every opponent has failed to reach the 45-point mark on the Lady Tigers.

There's a quick turnaround before facing LSU entertains UCLA at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The Bruins, Caldwell's former team, bring a 5-2 record into the contest.

The first 1,000 fans in attendance Tuesday will receive a free Lady Tiger replica basketball jersey. Fans are urged to bring canned goods to the game in support of LSU's holiday food drive in conjunction with the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.

"We played this schedule right before we went into final exams," Caldwell said. "It's very familiar for us. We just need to finish out better than we did in the first half of the non-conference schedule. We've been really preparing for any opponent that we play, because we want to stay true to LSU's defensive system and what we want to do offensively."

Caldwell's weekly radio show will air at a special time – 8 p.m. Monday from TJ Ribs on Acadian Thruway in Baton Rouge. Both the game and radio show can be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network on 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge.


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