GREENVILLE, S.C. (WAFB) - The LSU women’s basketball team got off to a rather slow start against Mississippi State but on-court production and a lot of energy from the bench helped the Lady Tigers advance to the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, SC.
The No. 8 seed Lady Tigers (9-12, 7-8 SEC) came away with the 71-62 victory over the No. 9 seed Lady Bulldogs (10-9, 5-8 SEC). LSU led by as many as 13 points. The Lady Tiger bench scored 34 points.
Transfer Ryann Payne came off the bench to lead LSU with 17 points in just her fourth appearance on the season. She also had four rebounds and three assists. Khayla Pointer added 14 points, four rebounds, four steals, and three assists. Another bench player, Sarah Shematsi chipped in 13 points. She was 4-of-6 from beyond the arc.
LSU trailed by as many as seven early but went on a 9-2 run to tie it, 13-13, with 2:11 remaining in the first quarter. LSU was down 15-13 at the end of the first. LSU took its first lead, 16-15, early in the second quarter on a 3-pointer by Payne.
The Lady Tigers led by as many as eight points in the first half but a late run by the Lady Bulldogs cut the advantage to 33-29 at halftime. LSU extended its lead to nine points, 44-35, with 3:34 left in the third quarter.
Later in the third, JaMya Mingo-Young fouled Pointer and the pair had words. They had to be separated and both were given technical fouls. It resulted in Mingo-Young fouling out with two points, eight rebounds, and two assists.
Mississippi State was trying to rally but another 3-pointer by Shematsi put the Lady Tigers up 51-43 with 58 seconds remaining in the third. LSU was able to take a 53-43 lead into the fourth quarter. The Lady Tigers continued to play solid defense to keep the Lady Bulldogs at bay down the stretch.
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LSU will face No. 1 seed Texas A&M (22-1, 13-1 SEC) on Friday, March 5, at 10 a.m. The game can be watched on the SEC Network. The Lady Tigers are the only team to beat the Lady Aggies this season.
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