BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Danielle Ballard scored a season-high 25 points to go with five assists, and LSU posted its second-straight upset of a ranked team, 84-79 over No. 10 Kentucky on Sunday.
The Lady Tigers (10-8, 4-2 Southeastern Conference) improved to 3-1 since Ballard, who last season averaged 10.7 points, returned after being suspended for LSU’s first 14 games for a violation of team rules.
Raigyne Moncrief scored 15 points, while Sheila Boykin had 14 points and 11 rebounds for LSU, which was coming off a double-overtime victory at No. 15 Mississippi State on Thursday.
Jennifer O’Neill scored 19 for Kentucky (15-4, 4-2), which lost for the second time in three games — the first loss coming at No. 1 South Carolina on Jan. 11, when starting Kentucky point guard Janee Thompson was lost for the season with a broken left leg.
Linnae Harper had 16 points and 15 rebounds for the Wildcats.
Kentucky turned the ball over 26 times, leading to 27 LSU points.
The Lady Tigers’ 84 points were their highest in a game this season, coming against a Kentucky squad giving up an average of 67.1 points per game.
LSU, which had been scoring about 63 points per game as a team coming in, led by as many as 10 points in the second half when Ballard’s jumper capped a 6-0 run to make it 55-45.
Soon after, O’Neill’s 3 sparked a 12-5 spurt that pulled the Wildcats to 61-59. Kentucky briefly tied it at 62 on Bria Goss’ free throw, but LSU responded with a 9-1 run, capped by Rina Hill’s fast-break layup as she was fouled. That gave the Lady Tigers a 71-63 lead with six minutes left, and the lead was back to double digits at 75-65 on Jasmine Rhodes’ driving layup in traffic with 4:29 left.
Neither team led by more than five points in an up-tempo first half.
Ballard paced the Lady Tigers early on with 13 of her points before halftime, while O’Neill scored 12 for the Wildcats.
The Lady Tigers scored the final five points of the half on Jenna Deemer’s right wing 3 and Boykin’s layup to take a 43-38 lead into halftime.
Kentucky: The previous three times Kentucky was ranked in the top 10 when meeting LSU, the Wildcats lost. … The Wildcats were seeking their first victory in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center since 2010. … Kentucky shot 32.9 percent (23 of 70).
LSU: Early in the second half, LSU’s DaShawn Harden was hit in the eye as she fell in the paint in a crowd of players on Lady Tigers’ defensive end. She stumbled directly back to the LSU bench and was helped to the locker room. … LSU shot 44.9 percent (31 of 69). … The Lady Tigers improved to 32-12 in the series all-time.
Kentucky: At Missouri next Sunday.
LSU: Visits No. 6 Tennessee on Thursday.
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