BATON ROUGE, La. – Adrienne Webb pumped a fist in the air as she was lifted up by teammate Theresa Plaisance, basking in the wild cheers of the heavily pro-LSU crowd.
With the best shooting night of her career and a relentless effort on defense, the feisty senior guard helped send LSU through to the regional semifinals for the first time since 2008.
Webb scored a career-high 29 points, including two crucial free throws with 22 seconds left, and LSU upset third-seeded Penn State 71-66 in the second round of the NCAA tournament on Tuesday night.
“I had to play my hardest in (potentially) our last game, because it’s do or die,” said Webb, who also defended Big Ten player of the year Maggie Lucas and helped hold her to 2-of-10 shooting.
Nikki Greene had 16 points and 16 rebounds, and Alex Bentley scored 14 for Penn State (26-6), whose loss meant all four No. 3 seeds were out of the tournament.
Bianca Lutley overcame foul trouble and scored 18, including a tough floater in traffic in the final minute to give LSU the lead and added another key free throw to make it a four-point game with 8.3 seconds to go.
Webb was 10 of 16 in what would have been her last game had No. 6 seed LSU (22-11) lost. Instead, she carried LSU to the Spokane Regional semifinal on a night when the Lady Tigers had only seven available players.
“Adrienne Webb is one of hardest-working players I’ve ever coached,” LSU coach Nikki Caldwell said. “Her competitive spirit on the defensive end allowed her to really have the attitude you have to have when you face a player like Lucas.”
Lucas finished with nine points.