LSU (15-8, 5-5 SEC) snapped a five-game league losing streak by topping the Wildcats 61-51 on Sunday. Mississippi State (13-10, 3-7) has lost four straight SEC games, including to three consecutive conference teams ranked in the current polls.
The Lady Tigers gained their defensive confidence back after shutting down the SEC's top offensive team on Sunday. LSU held Kentucky to a season-low 51 points, and coach Nikki Caldwell says the team is hoping to build on that win in the final stretch of SEC play.
"We are supposed to beat some of the best teams in the country," Caldwell said. "That's who we are at LSU. That's how we are supposed to play. We have to believe that as a team. If we do that, we can finish out this SEC schedule on the right note. Our focus is on the next one."
|Lady Tigers coach Nikki Caldwell: 'We are supposed to beat some of the best teams in the country. That's who we are at LSU.'|
Junior guard Adrienne Webb has averaged 16.3 points per game in her last three contests. Webb has provided back-to-back 19-point games and she was a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line to lead LSU past Kentucky. Caldwell will go with the same lineup against the Wildcats that features Webb, Jeanne Kenney, Swayze Black, Taylor Turnbow and Shanece McKinney.
LSU will be without the services of Krystal Forthan for the second straight game. Forthan missed the Kentucky game after suffering a high left ankle sprain in practice on Saturday. Senior forwards LaSondra Barrett and Courtney Jones will provide a spark off the bench.
MSU is led by Diamber Johnson and Porsha Porter, who are averaging 16.4 points and 13.4 points per game, respectively.
"Johnson and Porter can really score the basketball and we are going to have to be aware of them at all times," Caldwell said. "They complement each other very well. We missed some defensive assignments when we played them there and we have to be better in that area."
LSU and Mississippi State are meeting for the second time this season. The Lady Tigers rallied from a nine-point second-half deficit with an 11-0 run to win the first meeting in Starkville by a score of 53-48 on Jan. 5. LSU has won four straight games in the series and is 20-1 all-time against the Lady Bulldogs in Baton Rouge.
The game will be televised by Cox Sports Television (cable channel 37 in Baton Rouge). The first 1,000 fans in attendance receive a free Lady Tiger poncho. Tickets are on sale at LSUtix.net and the PMAC ticket office opens at 4:30 p.m. on the upper ramps.