Wis.-Green Bay-LSU Preview

LSU lost at home in the second round of the NCAA tournament last

year, and the same opponent may be waiting for them at that stage

in Baton Rouge again.

To get a chance at revenge, though, the sixth-seeded Lady Tigers

must end No. 11 seed Green Bay’s 24-game winning streak Sunday.

One year ago, Penn State invaded the Pete Maravich Assembly

Center as a No. 4 seed and eliminated LSU with a 90-80 win. The

third-seeded Lady Lions are back in Louisiana this weekend, and

they face No. 14 seed Cal Poly in the first game Sunday.

LSU (20-11) may be the higher seed in the second game, but the

Lady Tigers see Green Bay – No. 20 in the AP poll while LSU is

unranked – as a formidable first-round opponent with a tradition of

winning. Green Bay (29-2) is 206-25 since the start of the 2006-07

season.

The Phoenix, who were rarely challenged while running the table

in the Horizon League, haven’t lost since Dec. 5 at Central

Michigan. They are making their fifth straight NCAA tournament

appearance, and Green Bay’s seniors have never lost a first-round

game.

“We thought they were going to be a sixth seed,” LSU guard

Jeanne Kenney said. “We know Green Bay is a great team.”

The Lady Tigers have a size advantage, particularly when

6-foot-5 All-SEC forward Theresa Plaisance (17.4 points per game)

is on the floor, stretching defenses with her ability to score from

inside and out.

LSU also has been a much stronger team over the second half of

the season than its overall record would indicate. After losing to

Tennessee on a last-second basket Feb. 7, the Lady Tigers won seven

straight, including victories over ranked opponents Georgia,

Kentucky and Texas A&M.

Their only loss after that came against Georgia in the

quarterfinals of the SEC tournament.

“There was a period during this season where we could have

tanked,” LSU coach Nikki Caldwell said. “They stayed the course.

They matured. They grew together.”

The last time Green Bay lost a first-round game was in 2009,

when, like this season, the Phoenix were a No. 11 seed playing LSU

in Baton Rouge.

Listening to Green Bay’s seniors, a lot has changed since then,

particularly when it comes to expectations.

“At Green Bay we’re used to winning and we like to win, and it’s

just a tradition of excellence we’ve developed here, the culture

that we can’t get enough of,” said senior guard Adrian Ritchie, who

averages a team-high 14.2 points per game. “We’re putting

everything out there and we’re ready to play against LSU for

sure.”

The Phoenix rank second in the nation in scoring defense,

allowing 48.1 points per game.