Tigers Drop Home Opener
BATON ROUGE, La. — The LSU women’s basketball team returned to the Pete Maravich Assembly Center for the first time in the 2020-21 season to face UCF. The Tigers fell to the Knights, 58-48.
Junior-transfer Sarah Shematsi utilized her minutes effectively scoring 15 points in 20 minutes played. She was five-of-six from three-point range. Senior Khayla Pointer finished the game with 15 points and four assists.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Senior Awa Trasi got the scoring started for the Tigers with a free throw and added one more later in the quarter to make the score, 2-0.
- Sophomore Tiara Young added a free throw of her own and UCF responded with a layup that brought the score to, 3-2, in the middle of the first quarter.
- Before the first media timeout of the game, UCF added four points to their total, taking the lead at 6-3. UCF was in the midst of an 11-0 run bringing the score to 13-3 at the end of the first quarter.
- UCF added seven more to stretch their lead to 20-3 to start the second quarter, causing LSU to take a timeout.
- Trasi splashed home a three late in the second; Young added two more with a jumper on the wing—totaled eight points in the quarter for the Tigers, but UCF led 30-12 at the half.
- Pointer started the third quarter with a bang, sinking a three-pointer as the shot clock was winding down. This brought the score to 30-15.
- UCF led 36-15 at the third quarter media timeout. LSU added seven after the timeout, but UCF added three of their own, bringing the score to 39-22. Shematsi knocked down a three thanks to some stiff defense from the Tigers, making the score 42-25 at the end of the third quarter.
- Shematsi continued her hot shooting at the beginning of the fourth quarter draining another three-pointer, bringing the score within 14 to 42-28. Shematsi added another three and Pointer brought the score to 44-33 with a floater.
- UCF went on a quick 6-0 run, bringing the score to 50-33. Two quick three-pointers from Shematsi and Pointer brought the Tigers within 11, to 50-39.
- UCF finished the game with a score of 58-48.
Nikki Fargas‘ Postgame Quotes
On the slow start for the offense…
“When you’re playing at this level, we were obviously very aggressive at the beginning, playing off the bounce, got ourselves to the free-throw line early. So, those possessions, we were only coming away with one point a possession. There’s going to be a moment in the game where there’s only going to be so much that defense is going to be able to do, as far as holding your opponent. We have to score more than three points in a quarter. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced when we did not make one field goal, so it’s really hard to make that up. It’s a combination of putting a lot of pressure on our defense, but we’re also not scoring the basketball. We’ve got players that have experience; we’ve got players that started for us last year, and the expectation for them to come in and finish off what they started. We’re struggling there, offensively execution, spending a lot of time on that. The fact that we got 10 more field goal attempts than our opponent. That’s a plus, but we’ve got to convert those, and we’ve got to have players stepping up and making the plays early. I thought we had some really good looks. We have to knock those down, especially when teams are going to run a more base-line type defense and try to keep us out of the paint.”
On the statistical discrepancy in the paint…
“I think Faustine Aifuwa and Awa Trasi, our four and our five; those are two that we depend on, and they have the experience. I think when you don’t have success early, it seems like we shy away from going back at the opponent. I thought we had some paint points established by those two and when it doesn’t fall that doesn’t mean the next one can’t fall for you, so you got to keep going at them in the paint. But, to be outscored in the paint. Another area of concern is we’re getting out-rebounded. We’re missing a lot of shots.”
The Tigers will host Texas Southern in the PMAC on Monday, Dec. 14 at 5 p.m. CT. The game will be televised on the SEC Network. As always, you can listen to the LSU Sports Radio Network on 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge. Live stats will be available.