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The Nutshell
Durham Pod: LSU and Hartford Capsules
By Rob Clough
March 19, 2010

Noon Game at Duke Pits #7 LSU vs. #10 Hartford


#7 Louisiana State

Record: 20-9, 9-7 SEC

The Roster: Everything for LSU begins and ends with senior wing Allison Hightower, whom Duke Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie compared to Monica Wright in terms of the way the offense is focused around her. Hightower averages 18.5 ppg and shoots 40% from the three point line. She's balanced out by forward LaSondra Barrett, a 6-2 post who puts up 13 ppg and 7 rpg. She also gets to the line 5 times a game. Katherine Graham is the team's playmaker, but she also puts up 9 ppg to go along with 4 apg and 6 rpg. Forward Courtney Jones comes off the bench to average 6 ppg and 4 rpg, while forward Taylor Turnbow puts up 5.5 ppg and 4.7 rpg. Helping out in the backcourt are guards Adrienne Webb, Latear Eason and Destini Hughes, who all average between 3 and 5 ppg while hitting the occasional three.

The Skinny: The Tigers have essentially gone as far this season as Hightower has taken them. They've pulled off some solid wins against Middle Tennessee State, Tulane, and Louisiana Tech, but their signature win came on the road against Xavier. In the SEC, their only win of note came against Vanderbilt. The Tigers were in a lot of close games and have strong numbers overall, outrebounding opponents by 5, keeping their turnovers low (about 12 a game) and forcing 18 a game from their opponents. LSU gets to the line 20 times a game and converts an impressive 72% when they get there. This is a battle-tested team that doesn't necessarily have a lot of depth or size but that usually finds a way to get the job done.

#10 Hartford

Record: 27-4, 16-0 America East

The Roster: 6-2 center Diana Delva was the AEC player of the year after averaging 14.5 ppg and 8 rpg. She shot an impressive 65% from the field. Guards Jackie Smith and Daphne Elliott are the team's perimeter threats, with both players averaging over 6 ppg. Smith is also the team's chief playmaker with 3 apg. Hartford spreads its minutes around, with wings Ruthanne Doherty & Mary Silvia and guards ilicia Mathis & Alex Hall all scoring about 5 ppg. This is a team with a lot of interchangeable parts, all of whom put a value on defense, rebounding and shooting threes.

The Skinny: Hartford was cruising along until they lost AEC defensive player of the year, post Erica Beverly. Averaging 9 ppg, 7 rpg and 2 bpg, she made a perfect frontcourt partner for the more offensively-minded Delva. Without her, the Hawks' long winning streak came to an end at the hands of Vermont in the AEC tournament finals. Beverly's presence allowed everyone else to fill in roles elsewhere and gave the guards & wings plenty of time to shoot. The good news for the Hawks is that they've now had a couple of weeks to try to figure things out without her, and they'll be going up against a team in LSU that doesn't have a dominant post game.



NCAA Preview: ACC Teams
 
NCAA: Duke Broadsides Hampton, 72-37
The Nutshell

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