BATON ROUGE -- LSU’s eighth-ranked women's basketball team forced 17 first-half turnovers and led by as many as 31 points before putting away Kentucky, 76-58, on Thursday evening at the Maravich Center.
LSU center Sylvia Fowles led three Lady Tigers (17-2, 3-1 SEC) in double figures scoring with 16 points and 12 rebounds, as LSU won its 40th-straight home game.
In the process, Fowles moved into fourth place in the school's career rebounds list with 942 (passed Ramona Dozier, 934, 1980-84).
LSU starting guards Quianna Chaney and RaShonta LeBlanc had 14 and 13 points, respectively. Freshman guard Allison Hightower, starting forward Ashley Thomas and reserve guard Khalilah Mitchell each added seven points.
Kentucky, which only committed three turnovers in the second 20 minutes, shot only 37 percent from the field (22 of 59).
"I thought from the very beginning we established execution on both ends of the floor,” LSU head coach Pokey Chatman said. “The most obvious was defensively. You saw a concerted effort by the entire team and the bench. We really tried to carry out the scouting report defense.
"They went to the zone. I thought we stood around a bit for about three and a half minutes against the zone, but then the defense picked it up. The bottom line is you saw a concerted effort by the entire team, and the result was a nice win."
The Wildcats were led by 6-6 junior center Sarah Elliott who scored 19 points and had eight rebounds. Guard Samantha Mahoney was the only other Kentucky player in double figures with 17 on 7-of-14 shooting.
LSU opened a 23-4 lead in the first 12 minutes and led by 18 at the break, as the Lady Tigers scored 19 points off 17 Kentucky turnovers in the first 20 minutes.
In the process, LSU had eight steals and four blocked shots while holding the Wildcats to 9-of-26 shooting (34.6 percent).
“Kentucky struggled a bit earlier. We would like to think that we coupled that with good offensive execution,” Chatman added. “Our goal was to see if we run offense well enough to make them change defenses.”
Behind 10 points from LeBlanc, LSU led 37-19 at halftime.
Kentucky clawed within 14 early in the second half, however, a 27-6 Lady Tigers run put the game out of reach, 66-36, with 7:40 to play.
The Lady Tigers led by as many as 31 before Kentucky used a 16-4 run to end the game.
The Lady Tigers return to action on Sunday at 2 p.m. CT, as they travel to face Alabama.
GAME NOTES- Quianna Chaney scored in double figures for the 10th straight game with her 14 tonight.- Sylvia Fowles scored in double figures for the 12th straight game with 16 tonight.- Fowles recorded her 12th double double of the season and the 47th of her career with 16 points and 12 rebounds tonight. This marks the sixth straight game with a double double for Fowles. - Fowles moved into fourth-place on LSU’s career rebounds with, passing Ramona Dozier. Fowles finished the game with 642 career boards.- LSU extended the home court win streak to a nation’s best 40 straight games. The Lady Tigers have also won 18 straight SEC games at home.
LSU HEAD COACH POKEY CHATMAN
"I thought from the very beginning we established execution on both ends of the floor. The most obvious was defensively. You saw a concerted effort by the entire team and the bench. We really tried to carry out the scouting report defense. Kentucky struggled a bit earlier. We would like to think that we coupled that with good offensive execution. Our goal was to see if we run offense enough to make them change defenses. They went to the zone. I thought we stood around a bit for about three and a half minutes against the zone, but then the defense picked it up. The bottom line is you saw a concerted effort by the entire team, and the result was a nice win."
On the team's improvement ... "You are only as good as your last game. We improved from Ole Miss and Mississippi State. I don't know if I will ever be fully satisfied, but I saw a lot of improvement. I thought the energy was there. The execution was there by several players. There are a lot of areas we need to improve upon. There were too many hollow possessions offensively. Some were related to Kentucky, but more were related to LSU. We can eliminate some of those, but it was an improvement from Mississippi State."