Dec. 19, 2010
BATON ROUGE - Courtney Jones scored 18 points and Katherine Graham added 17 points and 13 rebounds to lead LSU past Louisiana Tech 68-53 before 3,714 fans at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center Sunday afternoon.
After LA Tech (6-4) had cut an 18-point second half deficit down to five at 48-43 on a pair of free throws by Kiara Young with 6:01 to play, Jones ignited a final LSU run by connecting on back-to-back three-pointers as the Tigers used a 18-4 run over the next four minutes to put the game out of reach.
Jones, who entered the game averaging only 3.8 points per game and 0-for-8 from beyond the arc on the year, came off the LSU bench and connected on 7-of-8 field goals, including all four three-pointers, in the win.
"It amazes me how we can play at Tulane with such great energy and execute so well on Friday night, and then we come in here and don't play with the same effort," said Tech head coach Teresa Weatherspoon. "If you leave (somebody like Courtney Jones) open, they are going to knock it down. That's what she did. They took advantage of our mistakes defensively."
Tech came out of the gates strong, building an early 10-6 lead on an Adrienne Johnson jumper with 14:45 to play in the half. However, less than eight minutes into the contest Weatherspoon had all three of her starting guards on the bench with two fouls each.
With Tech trailing 17-13 and just under nine minutes to play in the half, Johnson picked up her second as Weatherspoon was forced to go to her bench one more time.
"It was tough having almost all of our starting lineup sitting by me during the final 10 minutes of the first half," Weatherspoon said. "I thought our bench did a descent job of keeping us in it in the first half but we had a couple of break downs late and it gave them the opportunity to take the 13-point lead into the half."
LSU came out strong in the second half as a three-pointer by Adrienne Webb at the 18:42 to mark gave the Tigers a 40-22 advantage.
However, behind the play of Johnson, Tech started mounting a comeback as back-to-back three-pointers by the Franklin native cut the LSU lead to 42-35 with 10:21 to play in the game.
"When you are down by 18 on the road and momentum is going their way and the crowd is in it and they are full of emotion, you have to settle in and try to get a run of your own started," Weatherspoon said. "We did a pretty decent job of getting runs started and gaining momentum and emotion and eventually got the lead down to five. But they withheld and got a run of their own going and took advantage of our defensive mistakes."
Johnson led Tech with 17 points while Young and Jasmine Bendolph each added eight points each.
For the game, Tech shot just 28 percent (17-61) from the field, 19 percent (3-16) from the three-point line and 80 percent (16-20) from the free throw line.
LSU hit 44 percent (23-52) from the field, 41 percent (7-17) from the three-point line and 65 percent (15-23) from the free throw line.
The Lady Tigers outrebounded LA Tech 43-34.
Tech returns to action Dec. 29 when they face Georgia in the Fun and Sun Classic in Miami.