TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - For the second straight game, All-America candidate LaSondra Barrett carried the LSU Lady Tiger basketball team down the stretch. Barrett tallied a game-high 21 points and 12 rebounds as LSU survived a valiant effort from Alabama to win its 15th consecutive game over the Crimson Tide by a score of 51-46 on Sunday afternoon in Foster Auditorium.
The Lady Tigers (17-8, 7-5 SEC) won their third consecutive contest and had to come-from-behind for the third time in SEC play for the victory. LSU, which shot 33.3 percent, trailed by five points with six minutes to play before rallying with a 9-0 run. Barrett was the catalyst, scoring seven of the Lady Tigers' final nine points.
Barrett recorded her 16th career double-double and fourth of the season. She tied a career high with 13 free throws on 20 attempts, which finished just one attempt shy of Pokey Chatman's single-game record of 21 set on Feb. 10, 1991. Barrett's 13 made free throws tied for third in LSU single-game history. She also jumped from 16th to 13th in LSU career scoring annals.
"LaSondra Barrett really set the tone down the stretch again for this team," said LSU head coach Nikki Caldwell. "She got her attempts at the free throw line and played really aggressive off the bounce. We want to establish paint touches and we were able to move her from high to low and set some screens for her. She also had a height advantage and she set the tone for us to pull away at the end like we did."
Alabama (11-15, 1-11) remained winless against LSU since 2002. The Tide, who lost by over 40 points to the Lady Tigers on Jan. 8, played Sunday's game with only eight players, including seven players in the final 16 minutes after Kyra Crosby was ejected from the game in the second half.
Adrienne Webb added eight points, while Courtney Jones finished with a career-high-tying 12 rebounds for LSU, who was playing without freshman forward Krystal Forthan for the third straight game due to an ankle injury.
LSU trailed by as many as 10 points in the first half but managed to cut the deficit to 27-22 at halftime. The Lady Tigers knotted the game at 29 apiece with 16:27 left in the contest, and LSU later trailed 39-38 after Barrett converted an old-fashioned three-point play with 7:48 to go.
Jasmine Robinson's free throws pushed the Alabama lead back to 45-40 and the Lady Tigers then made their 9-0 run to take control of the game. Taylor Turnbow nailed a turnaround jumper and Webb made a key hustle play grabbing a rebound while on the floor that led to a Barrett putback. Barrett's free throw with 3:36 on the clock tied the game at 45 all.
A brilliant baseline move by Barrett gave the Lady Tigers a 47-45 lead and Webb followed with a key jumper in the lane. With LSU leading 49-46 and 25 seconds on the clock, Jeanne Kenney missed two free throws that left Alabama with one last shot. However, Kenney atoned for the misses when she deflected a pass that landed in Barrett's arms with 10 seconds left in the game.
Barrett finished off an impressive performance with two free throws that accounted for the final score.
Alabama shot 26.7 percent for the game and was out-rebounded by LSU, 46-37. The Lady Tigers got 37 points from their bench.
LSU returns to action against Arkansas at 7 p.m. Thursday in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks have won eight in a row and stand in a tie for third place at 8-4 in the league standings. The game will be televised by Cox Sports Television (CST) carried on the LSU Sports Radio Network on 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge.