BATON ROUGE -- LSU wanted no part of Georgia Tech's half-court pressure defense in the NCAA Tournament first round on Sunday at the Maravich Center. Instead, the Lady Tigers used a full throttle offensive attack to set the school's postseason scoring record and run away from the Yellow Jackets, 98-78.
No. 7 seed LSU (20-11) advanced to face the winner of the 2:30 p.m. matchup between No. 2-seeded West Virginia and No. 15-seeded Albany. The second round game will tipoff at the Maravich Center on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. CT.
Tenth-seeded Georgia Tech (20-12) fell behind by double figures early and couldn't keep up with the homestanding Lady Tigers, who found themselves behind the Yellow Jackets' defense throughout the game.
Guard Danielle Ballard led five Lady Tigers in double figures with 24 points while completing a double double with 17 rebounds. Forward Theresa Plaisance also recorded a double double with 21 points and 11 rebounds. DaShawn Harden made all three of her three pointers and finished with 17 points, while Shanece McKinney had 14 and Jeanne Kenney tallied 11 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
LSU shot 50 percent (35 of 70) for the game and made 24-of-30 free throws. The Lady Tigers set a school postseason record with 57 rebounds.
Georgia Tech was led by guards Tyaunna Marshall and Sydney Wallace who scored 20 points each on 18 of 41 shooting. The rest of the Yellow Jackets managed only 12 of 35 from the field.
The Lady Tigers used a fast tempo to avoid the Georgia Tech half-court pressure and were rewarded with the first 10 points of the game on 5-of-8 shooting. While LSU cooled off from the field, the Yellow Jackets made 8-of-10 to cut a 12-point deficit to two, 25-23, with 9:25 left in the first half.
A pair of free throws by Harden and a fast-break layup by Ballard pushed LSU's advantage back to six, 31-25. Harden, who had 10 points on 3-of-4 shooting in the first 12 minutes, was whistled for her second foul and went to the bench until the 3:51 mark of the half.
A three pointer by Georgia Tech's Wallace and a three-point play by Davis had the Yellow Jackets within two, 35-33, for the first time since the opening minute.
With Harden on the bench, Ballard scored 10-straight points to keep the Lady Tigers ahead, 39-33, with 5:07 left in the half.
A three-point play by McKinney and a short jumper by Ballard in the final minute gave the Lady Tigers a 51-44 lead at halftime.
The Lady Tigers' 51 points were the most in a half since Nov. 15, 2009, when they led Centenary, 51-9.
Once again, LSU came out of the lockerroom firing on all cylinders, making 7-of-9 field goals and increasing its advantage to 64-50 with 16:18 to play.
Less than a minute later, LSU guard Raigyne Moncrief left the game with an apparent knee injury, sparking an 8-2 Georgia Tech run that included a pair of baskets by Marshall and Wallace.
LSU answered with a 17-5 run to push the advantage to 83-63 with 7:38 remaining. Plaisance had eight points during the run including the highlight of the night, when Kenney whipped a one-handed pass from 35 feet away that connected with Plaisance at the rim for an easy tip-in.
Georgia Tech got no closer than 14.