LSU women roll through Mississippi State

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Freshman Danielle Ballard scored a game-high 19 points and added seven rebounds and four steals as the LSU women’s basketball team routed Mississippi State 63-41 on Sunday afternoon in Humphrey Coliseum.

The Lady Tigers (15-10, 6-6) claimed back-to-back Southeastern Conference wins for the first time this season and beat the Lady Bulldogs (11-14, 3-9) for the seventh straight time dating to 2009.

Ballard, playing in front of dozens of family members who made the drive from Memphis, Tenn., disrupted the Lady Bulldogs with her quickness. She was 7-of-9 from the floor and produced her highest scoring output since putting in 24 points in the SEC opener Jan. 3.

“(Ballard) showed the type of player that she is today,” coach Nikki Caldwell said. “Her stat line across the board, from getting steals to grabbing rebounds, was very positive. She was instrumental for us on the defensive end.”

Adrienne Webb scored 14 of her 16 points in the second half. Theresa Plaisance added 14 points, a career-high three 3-pointers, three blocks and two steals.

LSU set the tone with its physical defensive play, none bigger than the play of Shanece McKinney. Making her fourth straight start, she scored five points and blocked a career-high five shots. She held Martha Alwal, Mississippi State’s top scorer, to no points and one rebound in 19 minutes.

“Alwal is a great player, and today, McKinney did a great job,” Caldwell said.

The Lady Tigers built on a 28-25 halftime lead when Webb scored the first five points of the second half for LSU. Plaisance hit a 3 from the top of the key, then found Webb for a layup. The Lady Tigers had their first double-digit lead at 40-29 with 15:51 to play.

A 17-3 run put the game away. LSU held State to one field goal in a seven-minute span.