AUBURN, Ala. — Senior Adrienne Webb, playing in her home state, scored a game-high 21 points and freshman Danielle Ballard collected a clutch steal in the final 20 seconds as the LSU women’s basketball team escaped Auburn with its first Southeastern Conference road win of the season, winning 59-55 Thursday night in Auburn Arena.
With the victory, the Lady Tigers (13-8, 4-4) snapped a five-game road losing streak.
“Auburn is a very good defensive team, but our team hung tough,” LSU coach Nikki Caldwell said.
“We stayed together, and I was very proud of them. It was one possession with two minutes to go, and we finished it off. We made some free throws down the stretch. We made the plays we needed to. There was composure and they didn’t get rattled.”
Webb, a native of Madison, Ala., was 8-of-16 from the floor and buried three from 3-point range to record her third 20-point game of the season.
She accounted for the final margin with a free throw in the final second.
“Webb works extremely hard, and she proved it tonight,” Caldwell said. “She disrupts people and has great foot speed. Her teammates did a tremendous job finding her tonight. She gets in the gym after everyone and has shown her leadership all season.”
Theresa Plaisance, the SEC’s leading scorer, added 16 points and became the first Lady Tiger since Sylvia Fowles to score in double figures in 20 consecutive games.
Sheila Boykin had five rebounds off the bench while Ballard finished with eight points and four steals.
LSU never trailed after the 11:34 mark. With the Lady Tigers leading 51-50, Jeanne Kenney threw an outlet pass to Plaisance, who scored on a layup. Auburn’s Tyrese Tanner countered with two free throws and the Tigers (13-8, 2-6) missed an ensuing 3-pointer that paved the way for two key Kenney free throws.
Auburn had one last shot to tie with the score 55-52 and 0:18 to play.
Ballard picked off Najat Ouardad’s pass then was fouled. She made a pair of free throws that made it 57-52 with 0:18 to go.
“It was a terrific play by Danielle,” Caldwell said. “She does so many different things for us. There were times she missed some shots, but I like her competitiveness. She got some key boards and steals.”
Blanche Alverson’s desperation made three came too little too late as LSU held on for the gutsy win.
Despite committing 25 turnovers that led to 18 points, the Lady Tigers shot 45.8 percent from the floor and out-rebounded Auburn 36-32.
The victory sets the stage now for a monumental week in the Maravich Center featuring three ranked teams in seven days beginning with No. 16 Texas A&M at 8 p.m. Monday on ESPN2.
Half-priced tickets for the annual “Gold Game” can be purchased now at www.LSUtix.net.
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