Women's Basketball Closes January With LSU On Thursday
Jan. 30, 2013
AUBURN - The Auburn women's basketball team (13-7, 2-5 SEC) returns home for its last January game Thursday as the Tigers host LSU (12-8, 3-4 SEC). Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. CT, Thursday at Auburn Arena with doors opening at 4:30 p.m.
Auburn is coming off a break having not played on Sunday. The day off was needed as the Tigers hit a skid in the middle of January with four straight losses. Auburn looks to get some momentum back against LSU in Auburn Arena, where the Tigers have a 9-1 record this season.
LSU has struggled on the road this season, posting a 1-7 road record after dropping its last five games away from the Maravich Center.
The Lady Tigers are coached by Nikki Caldwell and feature a lineup of four double-figure scorers, led by junior Theresa Plaisance who leads the league in scoring with 18.3 points per game (17.7 in conference play) and also adds 8.0 rebounds per game. Shooting guards Adrienne Webb and Danielle Ballard add 13.6 and 13.1 points per game, respectively, while Bianca Lutley rounds out the group at 10.6 points per game.
"LSU plays four guards, and at any time, one of those guards can start the break," said Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy. "They don't really have to get a rebound, throw it out to the point guard, and let's run the offense. All four guards can bring the ball down the floor. Theresa Plaisance, she will step out to the 3-point line and they can run a five-out. They can do four guards and one post; the post, which is her [Plaisance], she usually is at the high post. She's not really on the block all the time."
It's been a roller coaster season for LSU with both unexpected losses and quality wins. The Lady Tigers fell to Hampton on the road in just their second game of the season, but bounced back two games later to defeat then-No.12/14 West Virginia. In conference play, LSU is undefeated at 3-0 at home, but 0-4 on the road.
Auburn and LSU have two common non-conference opponents in North Carolina State and Tulane. LSU defeated the Wolfpack, 81-73, but fell to Tulane, 66-64, in overtime, while Auburn was defeated by North Carolina State, 85-71, but beat Tulane, 70-65.
A key for LSU has been its matchup zone defense, something that Williams-Flournoy said can be difficult for a point guard to pick up.
"The point guard sees someone picking them up as soon as they come down the floor, and you are ready to call a man play," said Williams-Flournoy. "When you look ahead, there are four people standing in a zone set. It becomes very challenging for your point guard, but your kids have got to understand that it is a 2-3 match-up. You have got to make hard cuts so that you can see, `Okay, are they really in man?' If they are in man, you are going to make that hard cut, and they are going to go with you."
Auburn is 13-7 and averaging a 21.5-point margin of victory in the 13 wins. Three Tigers are averaging double figures, led by Hasina Muhammad with 16.5 per game, including six 20-point games, and 5.6 rebounds. Tyrese Tanner is at 12.5 points and 4.0 rebounds per game while Blanche Alverson comes in with 11.8 points and 5.7 boards per game.
Center Peyton Davis leads the team in the post, averaging 6.8 points and a team-high 5.8 rebounds per game. Najat Ouardad is tops in the SEC and 11th in the country in assists with 6.8 per game while scoring 5.1 points per game.
Thursday's game is this season's "All Auburn, All Orange" game with fans encouraged to wear orange to Auburn Arena. Fans can listen to the game on 96.7 FM in Auburn or on AuburnTigers.com with Andy Burcham and Stephanie Follett calling the action. GameTracker and a live video Webcast will be available on AuburnTigers.com.
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