Kim Mulkey and her LSU women’s basketball team stayed in Alabama as they took on the Crimson Tide on Thursday night. It wasn’t pretty going into the half for the Tigers but a big third quarter for LSU resulted in a 78-58 win that improved the Bayou Bengals to 17-2 on the season and 4-1 in SEC play.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Sarah Ashlee Barker scored the first points for Alabama after LSU’s Angel Reese blocked Essence Cody’s shot but the Tigers went on a quick 9-0 run.
Reese started the scoring for her team with the made layup off the Hailey Van Lith pass. Flau’Jae Johnson hit LSU’s first three-pointer, then Mikayla Williams made a couple of layups to give LSU the 9-2 lead with 6:21 left in the first quarter.
Alabama took the lead back with a nine-point run as Barker scored in the paint and recorded the assist off of a made three by Aaliyah Nye. Nye’s mid-range shot gave the Crimson Tide the two-point advantage but then both teams went back and forth as Last-Tear Poa got the assists from layups by Reese and Van Lith. Nye’s second shot from distance gave the Tide the one-point headed into the second quarter.
Neither team got more than a three-point lead on the other as Barker and Johnson traded buckets to open the second period but Nye’s third three and a couple of free throws by Loyal McQueen put Alabama up 23-20.
LSU responded with a big 14-4 run. The run was highlighted by Johnson, who got the defensive rebound and went to the rack to tie the game at that point. Aalyah Del Rosario’s back-to-back layups and Aneesah Morrow’s three put the Tigers up seven with 2:03 left in the second period.
The Tide closed out the half with an 8-0 run as Nye and McQueen each knocked down their shots from behind the arc. Johnson fouled Nye in the final three seconds and made two out of three shots from the charity stripe as Kim Mulkey’s squad went into the half down 35-34.
The Tigers flipped the script in the second half and went on a 20-3 run. Williams started the scoring in the first possession with a jumper but it was Morrow who stood out on the run as she scored eight points and had a steal that led to an and-one fast break layup to give LSU the 16-point advantage with 4:40 left in the third quarter.
After three offensive rebounds on the same possession, Alabama was able to end the run as Cody made a free throw. Jessica Timmons scored the next five points for the Tide but Reese’s layup put LSU up by 15 points headed into the fourth quarter.
Barker was limited in the seconds as she quickly picked up four fouls early in the third and made one more shot then assisted on another before fouling out midway through the fourth. In that time between then and the start of the final period, Reese continued to control the boards on both ends of the floor and made a couple of layups.
A majority of the final points for both teams came from the free-throw line as Van Lith fouled out as well in the final couple of minutes.
LSU extended their lead and held on to defeat the Alabama Crimson Tide 78-58 and earned their 17th win of the season and their fourth in SEC play.
BIG NUMBER: 20
The 20-3 run in the third quarter was the big difference-maker for LSU as they were able to have a sizeable lead heading into the fourth quarter and held on to defeat the Crimson Tide 78-58, moving to 17-2 and 4-1 in conference play.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Angel Reese
It was a vintage double-double night for Reese as she finished the game with 20 points on 7/16 shooting, 17 rebounds (11 offensive), two steals, and a block in the road win.
UP NEXT: The LSU women’s basketball will return home on Sunday, January 1st. Their opponent will be the Arkansas Razorbacks as tipoff in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center is set for 4:00 p.m.