LSU’s fast start sinks Tulane

Tulane’s women’s basketball team might have won the last three games against LSU but it was the Lady Tigers that left Devlin Fieldhouse with a 63-35 victory Sunday.

Sunday’s point total was the lowest for Tulane since a 73-35 loss to Southern Miss in 1990.

LSU (12-2) jumped out to a 12-0 lead by the 16:50 mark of the first half thanks to four 3-pointers from Jeanne Kenney.

“Well I just decided to shoot and I was lucky enough that everybody passed me the ball,” Kenney said. “Theresa (Plaisance) set some great screens for me and I was just knocking them down.”

From there the Lady Tigers maintained the lead. While Kenney might have provided the early spark, coach Nikki Caldwell said her team is versatile.

“So being selfless, and making that sacrifice for our team, that’s been a positive for us,” she said. “We’re going to continue to do that and talk about it and make sure our team understands that’s the difference between good teams and great teams.”

Kenney led the Lady Tigers with 17 points while Theresa Plaisance chipped in 15 and grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds. DeShawn Harden added 11.

For Tulane (9-4), Jamie Kaplan had a team-high 10 points while Danielle Blagg added nine.

LSU shot 44.2 percent from the field and had 50 percent 3-point shooting. The Green Wave had 20.8 percent field goal shooting and shot 21.1 percent from behind the 3-point line.

The Green Wave led the Lady Tigers in rebounds, 36-34.

“I felt like we were nervous starting the game,” said Tulane coach Lisa Stockton. “One of our goals was not to give Kenney many open looks. Our zone didn’t extend. We gave her those shots. Also when you’re down 12-0, it’s deflating. Fighting out of that was a challenge for us.”

Tulane went on a 7-0 run to start the second half and cut the lead to 33-20.

“We came out of the locker room and felt like we kind of had to be the aggressors,” Stockton said. “We had to create our own breaks.”

Caldwell expected the early second-half surge.

“We knew they were going to make a run at us because they’re a very competitive team,” she said. “We started veering away from the game plan. We brought them back to what we wanted to do defensively and how we wanted to play our defense. Offensively, there were certain things we wanted to do.”

The second half run showed a slight turnaround in a game where the Lady Tigers led 33-13 at halftime.

“I think that run we made was definitely a turning point,” Blagg said. “They’re a great team. We made a run, they made a run. They ended up coming up on top. The run we made was defensively. We ran the plays that we had drawn up correctly. Much of the game, we just weren’t running what we had drawn up.”

For Plaisance, Kenney’s early baskets guided the team through the opening half.

We haven’t won since Jeanne and I were freshman,” she said. “We knew it was going to be a tough game coming in and Jeanne opening up really gave us that kick start that we needed to push through the first half.”