Mountaineers to Face Host LSU in NCAA Second Round


By Katie Kane for WVUsports.com
March 24, 2014 05:49 PM
Senior guard Christal Caldwell had a career-best 26 points in WVU's last outing, to advance to the NCAA Second Round. 
Greg Ellis photo
BATON ROUGE, La.  The No. 2-seeded West Virginia women’s basketball team will face No. 7-seeded LSU in in the NCAA Second Round at 9:45 p.m. ET, on Tuesday, March 25.
 
WVU is facing an NCAA Tournament opponent on its home court for the seventh time in program history.
 
“First of all, I'd like to just say that I'm very proud of our team and where we're at right now. We're getting ready for a tough game tomorrow night against LSU. It's going to be a tough atmosphere, but we've played in tough atmospheres this year,” coach Mike Carey said. “It's a great challenge for us, but we're looking forward to the challenge, and there's no doubt in my mind we'll come out and play extremely hard.”
 
The Mountaineers (30-4) advanced to the second round after defeating No. 15-seeded Albany 76-61 on Sunday afternoon, while the Lady Tigers (20-12) earned a 98-78 victory over No. 10-seeded Georgia Tech.
 
In the Lady Tigers’ win over Georgia Tech, Sunday, they outrebounded the Yellow Jackets, 57-30, and hold a +3.1 average rebounding margin over their opponents this season.
 
West Virginia trails 4-0 all-time against LSU and is seeking its first-ever appearance in the Sweet 16, since the tournament field was expanded to 64 teams. The 1992 squad advanced to the round of 16 when the field was comprised of 32 teams.
 
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The mantra all season long for the West Virginia University women’s basketball team has been the lack of respect the program has received nationally.
The Lady Tigers come into Tuesday’s contest with a 1-8 record against ranked foes this season, including an 80-77 win at then-No. 5 Tennessee on Jan. 2.
As a team, LSU shoots 42 percent from the field, averaging 70.5 points per game, while limiting its opponents to 39.1 percent shooting and 64.8 points per game. LSU has six players who average seven points or more on the season, led by two-time First Team All-SEC player Teresa Plaisance’s 15.8 points per game. Plaisance is also the leading rebounder for LSU with 7.8 rebounds per game. Danielle Ballard is the second-leading rebounder with 6.5 boards per game, and is coming off a 24-point, 17-rebound performance last game.
 
The Mountaineers are led in scoring by sophomore guard Bria Holmes’ 15.3 points per game, and she is coming off her ninth 20-point outing this season. Senior guard Christal Caldwell joined Holmes by scoring at least 20 points in the NCAA First Round, as she paved the way with a career-best 26 points on 10-of-16 shooting against Albany.
 
Senior center Asya Bussie was held to only three points in the first-round action, but led all players with 12 rebounds, in addition to three blocks.
 
WVU is looking for its first ever second-round victory in program history. With a program-record 30 wins this season, WVU advances to the second round of the NCAA tournament for the eighth time in program history, and the sixth time under coach Carey. Tuesday’s game will air live on ESPN2, and will also be available live on ESPN3.



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