Knoxville, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Danielle Ballard scored 25 points in 16th-
ranked LSU's 80-77 win over No. 5 Tennessee in the SEC opener for both teams.
Ballard added eight rebounds, four assists and four steals for LSU (11-2, 1-0 SEC), which nearly squandered a 16-point lead in the final five minutes of the contest. Tennessee had cut its deficit to 78-77 with 12 seconds left when Raigyne Moncrief made a pair of free throws to restore a three-point LSU edge. Andraya Carter's last second triple was off the mark on the other end.
DaShawn Harden made four of the Lady Tigers' six 3-pointers for 17 points off the bench, while Theresa Plaisance and Jeanne Kenney totaled 15 and 14 points, respectively.
Harden was the lone reserve to score for LSU, which won its second straight tilt following an 89-79 upset at North Carolina State on Dec. 20.
Isabelle Harrison paced Tennessee (11-2, 0-1) with 26 points in the setback. Meighan Simmons shot 4-of-4 from the arc and netted 15 points, and Ariel Massengale had 10 points with a game-high 12 assists.
Tennessee led 44-40 after the first half, however LSU quickly gained control behind Plaisance, who had nine points during a 13-4 charge.
Jasmine Jones, who grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds for Tennessee, tied it at 55-apiece with a jumper midway through the period, but Harden made treys on the front and back end of a 15-2 LSU burst. Kenney then made four straight free throws after two Vols' technical fouls and Moncrief added one for a 75-59 margin.