LSU notebook: Raigyne Moncrief exits early with injury

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- LSU's Raigyne Moncrief is attended to by associate athletic trainer Micki Collins and coach Nikki Caldwell in the second half Sunday. Show caption
Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- LSU's Raigyne Moncrief is attended to by associate athletic trainer Micki Collins and coach Nikki Caldwell in the second half Sunday.

For the second straight year, the injury bug has bitten LSU in its NCAA tournament opener.

Last year it was Jeanne Kenney suffering a concussion after she collided with teammate Adrienne Webb late in the Lady Tigers’ victory over Green Bay.

Sunday it was freshman guard Raigyne Moncrief, who crumpled to the court with an apparent knee injury with 15:45 left in LSU’s 98-78 win over Georgia Tech.

Moncrief appeared to injure her left knee as she drove to the basket and was helped off the court. She was making her first start since Feb. 20 at Georgia because of a right knee injury.

Moncrief, who was in early foul trouble Sunday, finished with just two points in eight minutes. She was not made available for postgame interviews.

“We don’t know what’s going on exactly right now,” coach Nikki Caldwell said during her postgame news conference. “We’re going to have her looked at (Monday). We’re just going to stay hopeful. Obviously, she’s someone who is a tremendous asset to the team.”

Moncrief was replaced for most of the game by DaShawn Harden, who started the previous five games.

Harden was a spark plug for the Lady Tigers, making all three of her 3-point attempts en route to 17 points in 28 minutes.

If Moncrief can’t play in Tuesday’s second-round game against West Virginia, Harden likely would start in the backcourt with Kenney and Danielle Ballard. That would leave LSU with three reserve guards: Rina Hill, Anne Pedersen and Jasmine Rhodes.

The Lady Tigers have been in worse straits. Kenney’s injury last year left LSU with just seven healthy players in its second-round upset of Penn State, which sent it to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2008.

Westbound and down

Landon Bussie’s commute is shorter.

The graduate assistant coach for the Xavier of Louisiana men’s basketball team only needs to drive west about 80 miles on Interstate 10 to see his sister, West Virginia center Asya Bussie, lead the No. 2 seed Mountaineers in the NCAA tournament at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

It’s much more cost-effective than having to find ways to fly to Morgantown or other locales around the Big 12.

“It means a lot, just because these are the first games he’s been to since I’ve been at West Virginia,” Asya said. “He’s been to quite a lot this year, and I appreciate him coming to games, especially in my senior year.”

A tough choice for Dad

Georgia Tech guard Kaela Davis comes from good stock. The freshman, who scored 16 points on 4-of-14 shooting Sunday, is the daughter of former NBA forward Antonio Davis.

Davis, who played 12 seasons for four franchises and is now an analyst for ESPN, was in attendance Sunday at the PMAC.

That involved making a decision. AJ Davis, Kaela’s twin brother, is a freshman at Tennessee, which won a third-round game in the NCAA men’s tournament against Mercer on Sunday night in Raleigh, N.C.

Another year, 20 more wins

LSU improved to 20-12, reaching 20 wins for the third straight season and 12th time in the past 14 years.

The big 3-0

West Virginia’s 76-61 first-round win over Albany pushed the Mountaineers’ record to 30-4, breaking the school record for most wins in a season set in 2008-09.

Lagniappe

LSU is now 42-22 in NCAA tournament games. ... Tickets for Tuesday’s game are $11 to $16 and on sale through the LSU Athletic Ticket Office. Students are admitted free with valid ID.