No. 12 LSU’s Reese leads the charge past George Mason

3 hours ago
LSU athletics

Photo: LSU Athletics

BIMINI, Bahamas – The LSU women’s basketball program kicked off Thursday as the No. 12 Tigers (6-0) beat George Mason (3-4), 80-52 in their first game at Goombay Splash in Bimini, Bahamas.

Angel Reese led the Tigers with 21 points and 19 rebounds as she recorded her sixth straight double-double to start her LSU career. She has at least 15 rebounds in each of the last five games and has a career-high 19 points in two straight. Forward Sa’Myah Smith came off the bench to have a career-high 14 points and forward LaDazhia Williams scored 13 as LSU’s sticks dominated.

“We wanted to get the ball in early and we did,” LSU coach Kim Mulkey said. “I have to go back and watch film and ask if we didn’t get the ball there in the second half.”

Alexis Morris finished with 13 points and freshman Flau’jae Johnson had 10 as she has yet to score in double figures in every game of her college career thus far.

LSU’s streak of consecutive games ended Thursday at five games as the Tigers fell short of the century mark. At least one NCAA DI team had six consecutive 100-point games, and that was the 1981-82 Louisiana Tech team Mulkey played on.

The Patriots were led by Sonia Smith with 15 and Taylor Jameson with 11. Thirty of George Mason’s 66 field goal attempts came from behind the arc, but the Patriots shot just 20% from downtown.

LSU showed its mettle in the first half, jumping out to a quick and explosive lead. But George Mason responded in the second half, scoring 33 points over the final two quarters.

“We forced a lot of bad shots (in the first half),” coach Mulkey said. “We gave them one chance in the first and we came out and ran.” We didn’t do that in the second half and their defense didn’t change.

The Tigers got off to an early 8-0 run and half of those points came from free throws as Reese and Johnson both started 2-2 at the stripe. In the first five minutes of the game, Reese scored 6 points and grabbed 6 rebounds, looking for his sixth straight double-double. Reese finished the quarter with 10 points and 8 rebounds as the Tigers finished the quarter with a 27-9 lead.

Just four minutes into the second quarter, Reese grabbed his 10th rebound for his sixth double-double in six games as a Tiger. LSU ended the quarter on a 10-1 run to put the Tigers up 29 by halftime, 48-19. Morris scored 10 in the first half.

Through the first two quarters, the Tigers shot 65.5 percent from the field and held the Patriots to 24.2 percent. LSU scored 32 of its points in the paint and added 10 turnovers. The Tigers dominated the paint on both ends as they forced the Patriot offense to take perimeter shots late in the shot clock. George Mason went 2-16 from three in the first half and scored just 10 points in the paint.

After a slow start to the third quarter, LSU extended its lead to 34 points. Both teams found themselves at the line as a combined 11 personal fouls were committed in the third. George Mason went 4-4 and LSU went 7-8. LSU gave up 18 in the third and entered the final quarter with a 71-37 lead.

George Mason refused to go quietly, however, as the Patriots battled hard in the fourth quarter, making it difficult for the Tigers to score and rebound on both sides of the ball. However, LSU held strong for its sixth straight win.

“Fatigue sets in,” Coach Mulkey explained. “We’ve got to get in better shape. We didn’t defend well in the second half and we didn’t rebound and I think George Mason was just a little tough on them in the fourth quarter.”

Up Next

With the win, LSU will face UAB on Saturday at 1pm CT. That game will also stream on FloHoops. UAB and George Mason play Friday afternoon.

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