BATON ROUGE — The LSU women’s basketball team shook off a rusty first half with a 15-0 run six minutes into the second stanza and the Lady Tigers cruised past Texas Southern, 77-47, for their first home win of the season on Tuesday night at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

LSU (6-4) was returning from a 13-day layoff after final exams. The Lady Tigers used a balance attack, got to the free throw line often and dominated Texas Southern in the paint, 38-8, while forcing a season-high 25 turnovers. LSU shot 25-of-38 from the charity stripe thanks to the majority of the second half in the bonus.

“I thought we had a little bit of a slow start,” said LSU head coach Van Chancellor. “I think that was partly because I had us pressing. I should never have had us pressing. I’m not offering any excuses, but I think the two-week layoff had a little bit to do with it. In the second half, I thought we were really good.”

Texas Southern (2-7) saw a two-game winning streak come to an end and the Tigers dropped to 0-3 all-time against LSU. The game marked the return of Texas Southern head coach Yolanda Wells-Broughton, who served as an assistant under Chancellor on the Lady Tigers’ 2008 Final Four team.

Katherine Graham led LSU with 13 points and added eight rebounds. LaSondra Barrett and Adrienne Webb each netted 10 points and Webb finished one rebound shy of a double-double with nine boards. Freshman Shanece McKinney scored nine points, grabbed seven rebounds, blocked three shots and collected two steals in 17 minutes during the second half.

LSU led by as many as 12 points in the first half before Texas Southern sliced the lead to one, 27-26, with 3:15 to play. Graham knocked down two free throws and Latear Eason finished off a Taylor Turnbow steal to give the Lady Tigers a 31-26 mark at the break.

LSU wasted no time with a 19-0 run – 15-0 to start the second half – that put the game away six minutes into the second period. The Lady Tigers worked their way to the free throw line when Courtney Jones converted a layup and Graham made a free throw following an injury timeout. Graham made two more free throws as the lead grew to 41-26 with 16:14 left in the game.

Webb followed a Barrett missed 3-pointer with a putback on a foul. She converted another jumper and had six points during the quick spurt that crippled Texas Southern. TSU went over six minutes without a field goal prior to NaDosha Strickland ending the drought with a lay-up at the 13:40 point.

Chancellor emptied his bench after the run and that’s when McKinney showed her potential with nine points and a strong defensive effort. Bianca Lutley added six points with three nifty moves through the paint. Theresa Plaisance got into the act with a 3-pointer of her own in the final minute.

“I actually played three, four and five players together that played pretty well. I think any time that you win by 30 points and play everybody at least eight minutes or more, you’ve done pretty well.”

LSU shot 35.2 percent (25-of-71) for the game and out-rebounded the Tigers, 50-42.

The Lady Tigers quickly turn around to play UTSA at 11:30 a.m. Thursday. East Baton Rouge Parish System schools can attend the game. For more information, contact the LSU Marketing and Promotions Department at tomh@lsu.edu.

“We’re going to have the first ever 11:30 a.m. (midweek) day game,” Chancellor said. “We have gotten tremendous response from the elementary schools. They can get here at 10:30, get out of class and have a great time. We’re excited about this.”

NOTES: Chancellor told reporters after the game that LSU senior guard Andrea Kelly has left the team to focus on getting into medical school.

Andrea Kelly has withdrawn herself from our team to concentrate on studies to get into medical school. She’s trying to get into medical school and has to get her GPA up. She’ll stay on scholarship.”

LSU Women’s Basketball vs. Texas Southern
December 14, 2010

LSU PLAYER QUOTES

G Katherine Graham

On taking the lead in the second half …
“When you play a team of Texas Southern caliber, you are always going to have teams that make their runs. We try to stay in those runs as best as possible. We locked in on defense, and tried to take better care of the ball to get more shots. We tried to not get as many quick shots, and I think that’s what helped us regain our lead.”

On the team’s attitude going into the second half …
“We were able to get refocused and lock in on what we needed to do. Everybody knew that we had our best shot, and we wanted to come out and play like we have been playing in the past two weeks. We wanted to do the things that we know we are capable of doing.”

On coming back after a two-week break …
“Practice has been intense and game-like. The coaches do a great job of getting us prepared for each game. It was great to come out and play after two weeks off, and to get back into the flow of playing games.”

G Adrienne Webb

On rebounds …
“I had to find something else because I was trying to find shots in mid-range that weren’t working. Instead of taking a lot of shots, I decided to get inside and actually go to the boards to get rebounds and try to get the inside shots.”

On what the team will take away from tonight’s game …
“You can only get better from here. You can take the good stuff and try to improve on that. Also, take the stuff that we didn’t do so well with, and work on that.”