BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- LSU got off to a fast start for a change and cruised to its 40th consecutive victory at home.
Sylvia Fowles scored 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, and the eighth-ranked Lady Tigers beat Kentucky 76-58 on Thursday night. LSU settled the outcome by outscoring the Wildcats 23-4 in the first 11½ minutes, extending the nation's longest homecourt winning streak."I thought from the very beginning we established some execution on both ends of the floor," LSU coach Pokey Chatman said. "The energy was there. It was nice to see them establish themselves early."The Lady Tigers trailed at halftime in four consecutive games, but rallied to win three times.Quianna Chaney and Ashley Thomas accounted for most of the offense in LSU's quick start. Chaney made three field goals, including one 3-pointer, for seven points. Thomas, who was averaging fewer than five points per game, scored six.LSU (17-2, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) opened the game by hitting nine of its first 17 shots. Kentucky (13-6, 2-2) had almost as many turnovers as field-goal attempts during that stretch. The Wildcats were 2-of-13 from the field and committed nine turnovers. The only Kentucky points came on baskets by Samantha Mahoney and Lydia Watkins."We started slow and sluggish," said Sarah Elliott, who led Kentucky with 19 points. "They had a lot of good pressure on our perimeter and we turned the ball over way too much. We came out jumpy. It was us being careless and nervous."RaShonta LeBlanc scored eight points in the final 3 minutes of the first half to help put the Lady Tigers ahead 37-19 at halftime. The Wildcats never trailed by less than 14 points in the second half."The shots were open because we ran good offense," said LeBlanc, who matched her career high with three 3-pointers. "We attacked the gaps and got the ball to the open players."Fowles did most of her damage in the second half when the Lady Tigers protected their 18-point halftime advantage.After missing four of her five first-half shots, Fowles made all four of her field-goal attempts and three free throws in the second half.Chaney and LeBlanc were the other double-figure scorers for LSU. Chaney, who was 5-of-10 from the field, finished with 14 points. LeBlanc had 13."We were more poised in the second half," Kentucky coach Mickie DeMoss said. "But you can't play one half against LSU. We did the best we could, but they're tough. LSU played very confident and shot the ball very well."Mahoney, who scored 17 points, was the only player to provide offensive support for Elliott. No other Wildcats player had more than six points.