BATON ROUGE, La. – The No. 2-seeded West Virginia women’s basketball team fell to No. 7-seeded LSU, 76-67, in the NCAA Second Round on Tuesday, at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
“First of all, congratulations to LSU. I told our players for two days, the game is going to be won or lost in the paint. You can't give up 24 offensive rebounds. We quit getting the ball inside, and we had it going the second half, got the lead, and quit going inside,” coach Mike Carey said. “You know, but I'm proud of our players. They had a heck of a year, won 30 basketball games. We felt like we gave one away here today, but congratulations to LSU.”
The Mountaineers closed out the 2013-14 season with a 30-5 overall record, the most wins in a single season in program history, while also claiming a share of the regular-season Big 12 Conference title.
Against the Lady Tigers, WVU held a 63-56 advantage with 4:54 to play, but LSU would close the game on a 20-4 run to earn the win.
The Mountaineers were held to just 25 percent shooting in the second half, and the Lady Tigers connected on 20-of-22 free throw attempts for the game.
Danielle Ballard paced four LSU players in double figures with 22 points and 15 rebounds, marking her second straight double-double.
The Lady Tigers jumped out to a 17-9 lead midway through the first half. After starting just 3-of-20 from the field, WVU made seven of its next nine attempts to take its first lead of the game, 25-23, with 5:50 to play until half.
LSU connected on all 11 first-half free throw attempts and took a 37-35 advantage into the locker room.
The Lady Tigers opened the second half on a 9-2 run to grab their largest lead of the game, 44-35, with 18:34 to play. The Mountaineers fought back and used a 15-4 run to regain the lead, 52-50, with 11:49 to play.
West Virginia led by as many as seven points on multiple occasions. A Bussie made free throw with 5:05 left had the Mountaineers up seven, but the Lady Tigers scored on 10 of their final 11 possessions, while making all eight of their free throw attempts down the stretch to seal the win.
Bussie finished the game 13-of-15 from the free throw line – her most made free throws in a single game in her career.
For the game, the Lady Tigers shot 27-of-70 (38%) from the floor, compared to 19-of-63 (30%) shooting for the Mountaineers.
West Virginia was able to force 18 LSU turnovers, however the Lady Tigers held a 55-40 rebounding advantage and a 38-24 advantage for points in the paint.