LSU (5-3) defeated a Pac-12 opponent for the seventh straight time dating back to 2004. The last time the Lady Tigers lost to a Pac-12 foe was at Oregon on Nov. 16, 2003.
UCLA (5-3), playing for the first time since Dec. 4 and taking on former coach in Nikki Caldwell, became the latest LSU opponent in the Maravich Center to suffer from offensive woes. The Lady Tigers have held all five of its home opponents under 45 points.
“I’m proud of this group for maintaining their composure, and I’m proud of this group for relying on their defense and our board play to win this game,” Caldwell said. “We stress a lot on the defensive end. We really have been working on keeping people out of rhythm and making sure we’re doing what we need to do to disrupt them.”
Barrett turned in her best game of the season, finishing 7-of-13 of the floor and grabbing a game-high 8 rebounds with 5 assists. With LSU leading by three in the final 2 minutes of the first half, Barrett ignited a 7-0 run to close the period, including five straight points in the final 46 seconds.
Jeanne Kenney had a layup and Kenney found Barrett for a layup of her own. Barrett put the finishing touches on the first half when she nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 3 seconds left that lifted the lead to double-digits, 30-20 at halftime.
Adrienne Webb added 13 points – her fourth double-digit game in the past five contests – and she knocked down three treys. Webb became the eighth player in school history to make at least 100 3s in a career. Gard Jeanne Kenney tied a career-high with 5 steals and added 7 points.
|LSU guard Bianca Lutley|
UCLA was led in scoring by Markel Walker who finished with 11 points. Walker was playing in her first game of the season after sustaining an injury earlier in the year.
“With the addition of Markel Walker back on the team, I thought she had a good night against us if you take away her turnovers,” said Caldwell, who spent three seasons as the Bruins head coach. “UCLA is always going to be dear to me. The administration there gave me my first head-coaching job, and there are some great people at UCLA. It’s helped mold me into the coach that I am today. We want nothing but the best for not only their current players, but their former players as well.”
The Bruins shot 42.1% in the first half, but LSU played inspired defense in the second half, holding UCLA to 25.7% shooting in the final 20 minutes. Barrett was the catalyst, scoring seven points in the first 9 minutes, highlighted by a jumper on a called foul with 12:02 left in the game. She made the free throw and added another layup that pushed the lead to 43-30 with 10:58 remaining.
Webb then scored LSU’s next seven points with a 3 from the wing and a fast break layup. UCLA went 6 minutes without a field goal starting at the 10:40 mark before Rebekah Gardner broke the drought at the 4:14 mark. By then, LSU was in full control and Caldwell emptied her bench in the final 4 minutes.
For the second straight game, the Lady Tigers shot a consistent 49% from the floor and overcame turnover difficulties. LSU dominated the backboards, 37-28, and outscored the Bruins in the paint 36-20.
LSU hits the road for a non-conference game at McNeese State at 6 p.m. CT Friday, the Lady Tigers’ first trip to Burton Coliseum since Feb. 18, 1991.