BATON ROUGE, La. — Seventh-seeded LSU had to overcome a lot to advance to the Sweet 16 of the women’s NCAA tournament in Baton Rouge, La., Tuesday night. The Lady Tigers had to come back from a late seven-point deficit and had four players in the game with four fouls.
Head coach Nikki Caldwell’s squad did everything right in the final minutes of the game to upset the second-seeded Mountaineers 76-67.
Holding a 63-56 lead with 5:05 left, West Virginia was on the brink of advancing to the Sweet 16, but LSU went on a game-clinching 16-2 run fueled by guard Danielle Ballard. With 2:33 left to play, Ballard grabbed a board and ran the length of the floor to dish off to Jasmine Rhodes, where she hit a layup that gave her team the lead for the first time in the second half.
The Mountaineers had no answer for Ballard with their man-to-man defense, so head coach Mike Carey made the decision to go with a 2-3 zone.
The zone was able to slow Ballard down but allowed her to dump the ball in the middle where forwards Theresa Plaisance and Shanece McKinney took the game over.
Ballard finished her night with a game-high 22 points and grabbed 15 boards. It did not happen often this season, but West Virginia was out rebounded 55-40…