BATON ROUGE, La. - A 17-5 run to close the first half was the difference as the Saint Joseph's women's basketball team fell at #15 LSU, 80-64, in the Quarterfinals of the Preseason WNIT Sunday afternoon at the Maravich Assembly Center.
The Hawks got a game-high 23 points from senior guard Erin Shields as she hit 8-of-16 from the field, including 7-of-12 from three-point range.
Falling behind 10 early, Saint Joseph's (1-1) fought back to within a possession, 23-20, on a layup by sophomore forward Sarah Fairbanks at 5:35.
From there though, the Tiger (2-0) opened up their lead to 15 points by halftime, using a 17-5 run to end the first period and take a 40-25 edge into the second stanza.
Saint Joseph's scored the first basket of the second half, but LSU answered with a 9-0 run to open its biggest lead, 49-27, on a Danielle Ballard layup at 17:51.
Despite the deficit, the Hawks continued to fight and chipped away at the Tigers' advantage. Behind a 17-6 run, Saint Joseph's cut LSU's lead to single digits as a Shields' three-pointer made it a 55-46 game with 12:59 to play.
The Hawks would continue to hang around, trailing 64-54 with under seven minutes to play, but they'd get no closer as LSU held them at a distance over the final minutes.
For the game, SJU shot 37.1 percent from the field (23-of-62), 36 percent from behind the arc (9-of-25) and 64.3 percent from the foul line (9-of-14). At the other end, LSU shot 46.2 percent from the floor (30-of-65), 26.7 percent from three-point range (4-of-15) and 72.7 percent from the foul line (16-of-22). The Tigers also finished with a 50-30 advantage in rebounds, while SJU caused 14 turnovers compare to just 12 itself.
Individually, Fairbanks added a team-high nine rebounds to go with 11 points, while Cloud added six assists and four steals to go with nine points.
DaShawn Harden led three LSU players in double figures with 19 points.
Saint Joseph's awaits the results of the other Preseason WNIT games for its next opponent.