NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- After one of her best offensive games this
season, LSU guard Erica White wanted to talk about playing defense.
While harassing New Orleans with five steals, several
deflections and general hustle, White added 15 points and six
assists as LSU (No. 9 ESPN/USA Today, No. 11 AP) rolled to another lopsided victory by beating
the Lady Privateers 65-45 on Monday night.
"I wanted to execute defensively first and foremost, try to get
some deflections, get some steals," White said. "That's what kind
of got me going."
LSU (8-1) scored 24 points off 19 turnovers and held New Orleans
(4-2) to 33.3 percent shooting. Lady Tigers coach Pokey Chatman
said White was the main reason for that.
"Defensively, she set the tone," Chatman said. "She's got
deflections, she's got steals, she's on the floor, she starts the
break, she can rebound. She's 5-foot-4 and plays about 5-9 and that
galvanizes everyone. ... She has the type of personality and
ability to bring everyone with her."
Sylvia Fowles had 17 points and 13 rebounds for LSU, which has
won three straight and has not had a victory margin of less than 20
points this season.
It was the latest dominant performance for the 6-foot-6 center
known as Big Syl, who has four double-doubles this season and has
scored in double figures in all but one game.
"When you face a player that is 6-6 and mobile like she is, it
makes it very hard to defend," UNO coach Amy Champion said. "She
is one of the best centers in the country. There's really not a
whole lot you can do."
Le'Della English scored 17 for UNO (4-2), and Cookie Johnson
added 10 points.
Shooting 50.9 percent, LSU led by as many as 26 points early in
the second half.
English and Johnson each made a pair of baskets in an 11-2 UNO
run that got the Privateers as close as 46-29.
But LSU pulled away again after Allison Hightower and White
converted a pair of turnovers into fast-break baskets. White was
fouled on her layup and hit the free throw to make it 51-29 with
LSU jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first two minutes on White's
two layups and RaShonta LeBlanc's 3-pointer.
English, New Orleans' leading scorer, responded with a 3-pointer
and a layup to cut the margin to 8-5. But the Privateers got no
closer as White's scrappy play helped the Tigers surge to a
double-digit lead they held the rest of the game.
Drawing crowds of defenders with explosive drives to the hoop,
White found open teammates for five assists to go with four steals
and a pair of rebounds in the first 10 minutes. She set up Fowles
for an easy layup with a no-look lob in from the perimeter, and her
assist on Mesha Williams' basket put LSU ahead 26-11.
"I just try to get in there and be strong with the ball and
find my teammates, and I was able to do that," White said.
Consecutive layups by Fowles, who scored 14 in the opening half,
widened LSU's lead to 32-15. White closed out the scoring in the
first half with a pair of free throws that put the Tigers up 39-18.