ESTERO, Fla. -- Despite a second-consecutive double-double by junior Alexis Hyder, the LSU women's basketball team dropped a 52-41 decision to Maine for a sixth-place finish in the Gulf Coast Showcase here at Germain Arena Sunday afternoon. LSU falls to 4-4 on the year with the loss.
Hyder led the Lady Tigers against Maine with 13 points and 11 rebounds. She was 5-of-11 from the field and 3-of-6 from the free-throw line. She opened the second half scoring the first six points for LSU. Hyder had 19 points and 14 rebounds in the second-round game of the tournament against Marist.
Akilah Bethel and Jenna Deemer also scored in double digits for LSU with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Both also led the defensive efforts with three steals apiece. Deemer had both of LSU's three pointers in the game.
Freshman Shanice Norton made her first start of the game with senior Anne Pedersen out indefinitely with an injury she suffered against Marist. The Lady Tigers were down to just eight players dressed out for the game with Raigyne Moncrief and Ayana Mitchell also out with injuries. Norton played a season-high 32 minutes in the win over Marist and hauled in a season-best eight rebounds. She was held scoreless and logged three rebounds in 29 minutes against Maine.
LSU won the battle on the boards with 32 rebounds to 31 boards for Maine. The Lady Tigers also forced the Black Bears to turn the ball over 22 times. Maine shot 56 percent (20-36) from the field, while LSU struggled to get into an offensive rhythm, going 15-of-55 (27.3 percent) from the field, including a 2-of-11 mark from three-point range.
The Lady Tigers led much of the first quarter before Maine took their first lead of the game, 9-7, off a three pointer by Lauren Bodine with 2:47 left in the first period. Deemer hit a jumper to tie the score, 9-9, before Bodine hit another trey for Maine's 12-9 lead at the end of the first period. The Black Bears controlled the second quarter and used a 13-3 run for a 25-12 advantage with 4:20 left in the first half. LSU had a scoring drought over six minutes during that run. The Lady Tigers were outscored 18-7 in the second quarter and were down 30-16 at the break.
LSU shot 30 percent (7-23) from the field in the first half and was outrebounded 15-9. Maine was 13-of-20 (65 percent) from the field, including a 4-of-8 mark from three-point range in the first half. The Lady Tigers did force Maine to turn the ball over 10 times while registering six steals before the intermission.
Maine led for the entire second half though LSU outscored the Black Bears, 25-22. The deficit from the first half was too much for the Lady Tigers to overcome. LSU did hold Maine's top shooter Sigi Koizar to just nine points. Koizar entered the game averaging over 18 points per contest. Chantel Charles led Maine in scoring with 14 points, while Liz Wood led in rebounding with nine boards, all of which were on the defensive side. Wood also scored in double figures with 12 points.
"We definitely struggled to score the basketball today," said head coach Nikki Fargas. "If you look at our stat line, we had a lot of good looks at the basket but this is a 40-minute game. I thought in the first half we were flat defensively. We allowed Maine to run their play action fairly easy. In the second half, we picked up our defensive intensity. We won the second half 25-22, but the game was really lost in the first half."
The Lady Tigers return home to the PMAC on Dec. 1 at 11 a.m., against Texas Southern. This matchup is the 5th-Annual Field Trip game. All elementary schools in the greater Baton Rouge area are invited to attend this game for free. The first 5,000 EBR students in attendance will receive an LSU Lady Tigers pencil pouch. Fans will also be treated to the antics of the popular ZOOperstars! at halftime of the game.