Women’s Hoops: LSU falls at Alabama, 67-59

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala.— The LSU women’s basketball team remained on the road Thursday wrapping up a two-game trip with a 67-59 loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide.

The Tigers fall to 4-5 on the season and 2-1 in the SEC. The Crimson Tide improve to 9-1 on the season and 2-1 in the SEC.

Senior Khayla Pointer continued to show her natural scoring ability, exceeding her season-high in points with 25. She filled the rest of her stats line with three rebounds and five assists. Redshirt-senior Faustine Aifuwa collected another double-double, the 14th of her career and her fifth of the season. She finished strong with 14 points, 10 rebounds, and an assist. Sophomore Tiara Young’s effective performances carried over in this ballgame, amassing 12 points, six rebounds, and an assist.

HOW IT HAPPENED

● Alabama got the scoring started with a quick three, but Pointer responded with a three of her own. The game was tied early at three.
● The Tide extended their lead with an 8-0 run. Senior Karli Seay curbed the run with a steal and a jumper on the other end of the floor. Alabama led 11-5 halfway through the first quarter.
● Out of the media timeout, there were several empty possessions before Alabama extended their lead again to eight. Pointer responded again with effective penetration in the paint. Young added on with a jumper. LSU trailed 13-9 with 1:25 left in the first quarter.
● After the Tide expanded on their lead with a three-pointer, Aifuwa closed the gap to five with a made jumper. The Tigers trailed 16-11 at the end of the first quarter.
● Alabama got the scoring started in the second quarter with a corner three and added a layup on a subsequent possession.
● Pointer saw an alley on the left side of the lane and made a layup. She added a free throw, as she was fouled in the act of shooting.
● The Tide responded with a three and pushed their lead to ten. The Tigers trailed 24-14 with 6:30 left in the half. Aifuwa’s mid-range jumper closed the gap to eight. Alabama added a free throw, but Aifuwa’s relentless effort on the offensive glass led to a layup and a foul. LSU trailed 25-19, cutting the deficit to six.
● A pair of jumpers by both squads was followed by a jumper from the free-throw line by Pointer and LSU cut the lead to six again. Alabama led 29-23 with under two minutes left in the half. LSU kept trying to close the gap, but the Tide continued to maintain their lead. The Tigers trailed at the half, 33-25.
● Two minutes into the second half, both teams collected five fouls collectively, which led to fruitless possessions. Alabama went up by 11, their biggest lead in the game, with a three. Alabama led 36-25 with 7:19 left in the third quarter.
● LSU continued on their path to cut the lead. With 4:57 left in the third quarter, the Tigers trailed 38-30.
● Out of the break, both teams got to the free-throw line. LSU trailed 40-31. Young closed the gap to eight. They would continue to trade baskets down the stretch. LSU trailed 48-37 with 1:45 left in the third quarter.
● Pointer single-handedly brought the Tigers within eight with a layup and a made free-throw. LSU trailed 48-40 at the end of the third quarter.
● Young cut the lead to six with an 18-footer to start the fourth quarter. The Tide extended their lead momentarily, but Pointer knocked down a three, closing the gap to 51-45.
● After many possessions where the Tigers were within six, an Aifuwa layup finally closed the gap to four. Alabama took a timeout and led 53-49 at the 7:46 mark.
● Out of the break, beautiful ball movement led to a Seay floater. Pointer tied it at 53 with a running one-hander. The Tide was able to retake the lead and LSU trailed 57-53 with 5:09 left in the game.
● The Tide continued to wreak havoc in the paint. Since LSU tied the ballgame, they went on an 8-0 run. Young stopped the bleeding with a jumper from the wing, but Alabama went back up by 8. Alabama led 63-55 with 2:35 left in the game.
● The Tigers got within six once again, but Alabama finished the game with a victory of 67-59.

Nikki Fargas’ Postgame Quotes

On the run from Alabama near the end of the game after LSU tied it up…

“That’s the testimony of a very good basketball team. We can’t keep digging ourselves and playing from behind, that’s what we’re doing. Our inability to take scouting reports for defense and apply it. Like I told the team, they’ve got really good players and when you allow players to go to their go-to moves, or you allow players to get to their strong hand, then you’re at their mercy. I felt like we did not do a good enough job in setting the tone at the very beginning. We just had to play from behind. This team has a lot of fight in them. They’re going to keep fighting and playing hard, but when you’re on the road and you’re playing in this league, you’ve got to be locked into personnel and you have to be locked into players’ stat lines. We got 11 more field goal attempts than Alabama and were not able to convert on those.”

On the rebounding discrepancies in the beginning of the game effecting the rest of the game…

“What we’re seeing is our inability to score, so when you look at missing over 20 shots in the first half, they’re going to probably get half of those. We’re getting more field goal attempts, and we’re not scoring it. When we’re looking at that stat, every time we’re plus 10, plus 11 in field goal attempts and we’re not scoring at a high enough percentage, then our opponent is outrebounding us a minimum of plus 10. Our offensive execution, our inability to rebound the basketball from multiple positions offensively and giving ourselves more offensive rebounds. If we’re going to miss 35 shots, we can’t just come up with seven rebounds on the offensive end. That’s where our execution has got to be better. The other area that I think is of concern too is that we only had nine assists on the night. We took care of the basketball; we’re pretty decent there, but the only player that had two or more assists was Khayla Pointer with five. When you have 62 field goal attempts, that assist column goes down because we’re not making shots, so it’s just a trickle-down effect. I think this team has shown they can score the basketball. We had a strong second-half. We got to put it together, though, for 40 minutes.”

Up Next

The Tigers will return to the Pete Maravich Assembly Center after a two-game stint on the road to face the Tennessee Lady Vols Sunday, Jan. 7. The matchup will be streamed on SEC Network Plus at 1 p.m. CT. As always, you can listen to the Voice of the Tigers, Patrick Wright, broadcasting on 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge.

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