Ballard, Webb Set Milestones in Lady Tigers Win

Staff Writer
Donaldsonville Chief

BATON ROUGE - Danielle Ballard scored a game-high 21 points and tied an LSU freshman record for steals with seven as the Lady Tigers used a 15-0 late first-half run to pull away from Grambling by a score of 90-59 on Wednesday night in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

Senior guard Adrienne Webb added 19 points - 14 in the second half - and became the 30th player in school history to reach 1,000 points in a career. Webb needed seven points going into the game. Her first bucket in the second half put her at the mark, and she now stands at 1,012 points.

Ballard's steals tied for fifth overall in LSU single-game steal annals and it tied the freshman record held by Joyce Walker. Walker collected seven steals against Southeastern Louisiana on Feb. 12, 1981 during her freshman campaign.

The Lady Tigers (7-3) won their third in a row despite surrendering a season-high 9-of-21 from three-point range. Grambling (1-8), which dropped to 0-4 all-time against LSU, connected for seven threes in the first half and even tied the game at 30 apiece with 7:25 remaining in the first stanza.

"I thought we had some lazy play," said LSU head coach Nikki Caldwell. "I felt as though us not identifying the basketball early led to quick ball reversal. (Grambling) really did a great job of exploiting us and extending our defense. Around the seven-minute mark, we changed up the lineup and went with a guard lineup, which we felt could match up a little bit more."

Cierra Ceazer made back-to-back threes culminating at the 7:25 mark before the Lady Tigers countered with a decisive 15-0 run led by the quick play of Ballard. Ballard converted eight of the 15 points, including two lay-ups off her own steals. Grambling, meanwhile, went cold from the floor, going 7:23 without a made basket until a Tyler Anderson jumper with 0:02 left in the half.

"When she (Ballard) sees daylight, she's very aggressive to the basket," said Caldwell. "She typically converts in those scenarios. She did a great job of that for us tonight."

By then LSU took a 45-30 lead into halftime and never looked back. Webb became the newest member of the 1,000-point club on a mid-range jumper with 18:38 remaining in the game. It jump started an 8-0 Lady Tiger run.

LSU added another 14-0 run in a three-minute span in the final five minutes of the game. Webb took advantage of several Grambling turnovers and fired in eight straight points during the spurt. The Lady Tigers converted 26 turnovers into 35 points on the night.

Junior forward Theresa Plaisance reached double-figures for the ninth consecutive game with 18 points and a career-high five assists. Shanece McKinney turned in her third straight impressive start with another near double-double, finishing with eight points and nine rebounds.

The Lady Tigers shot a season-best 56.7 percent from the floor.

LSU closes a stretch of four games in eight days when McNeese State, the defending Southland Conference champions, comes to Baton Rouge for a Friday matinee. Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m.