BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Jeanne Kenney responded to a tough week with the best game of her career.
Kenney hit all five 3-pointer she attempted on her way to a career-high 22 points, and LSU upset No. 7 Kentucky 77-72 on Sunday.
Kenney, who missed her grandfather’s funeral late this past week because of a snow storm that kept LSU in Missouri a day longer than expected, was unsure if she would play against the Wildcats because of a sore left foot. She did not start, but saved the Lady Tigers (17-10, 8-6 Southeastern Conference) in a reserve role, finishing 7 of 8 from the field and 3 of 4 from the foul line.
A’dia Mathies scored 20 and Jennifer O’Neill 15 for Kentucky (23-4, 11-3) which saw its four game winning streak snapped.
Center Theresa Plaisance recorded her fifth double-double this season with 20 points and 13 rebounds, while Bianca Lutley added 15 points for LSU, which shot 51.9 percent (27 of 52) and went 7 of 11 from 3-point range as a team.
Kentucky shot 45.3 percent (29 of 64), but was only 6 of 22 from deep. LSU also outrebounded a Kentucky team renowned for its defensive play, 35-31.
LSU did have a potentially significant setback, however, when starting center Shanece McKinney left the game late in the second half with an apparent leg injury that required her to get help off the court.
LSU never trailed in the second half and led by as much as nine in the final 20 minutes when Plaisance’s layup made it 49-40.
The Wildcats kept pushing back, with Mathies’ 3 cutting the Lady Tigers lead to 62-60. Mathies later pulled Kentucky into a tie with her reverse layup with 4:03 left, but LSU did not wilt, thanks to Kenney, who drilled a 3 and a jumper in succession to make it 69-64 with 2:13 left. Kentucky never got closer than three points after that.
The teams were within four points of each other through most of the first half, with Kentucky taking a 24-22 lead on O’Neill’s jumper.
That’s when LSU started a dominant 21-6 run covering most of the last 7:10 of the half. It began with Lutley’s free throws, followed by Kenney’s 3-pointer on her first shot of the game. Ballard’s driving scoop and Webb’s back-court steal and quick jumper from the lane gave LSU nine straight points.
LSU hit five of six 3s in the first half.
Kenney made all three of her shots during the first half, all from 3-point range, and added a pair of free throws in the final minute of the period, giving her 11 points in a span of 6:19 and staking the Lady Tigers to their largest lead of the game at 43-30 before DeNesha Stallworth’s short jumper made it 43-32 at halftime.