Da Boot Sports
By: Terrill J. Weil
BATON ROUGE, LA: The Kim Mulkey era began on Saturday afternoon as the Lady Tigers defeated the Lady Lions of Langston, 112-48 in the first exhibition game of the 2021-22 season.
The team looked like they may have been pushing themselves a little too hard offensively early in the first period before settling down. As expected, senior point guard and team leader Khayla Pointer led the team with 22 points, while four other Lady Tigers finished with double digit scoring. Defensively, LSU played a suffocating man-to-man defense all game long. Overall the team played very aggressive on both ends of the court, looking well conditioned, while competing with a lot of energy.
The Lady Tigers controlled the opening tip and took a quick 3-0 lead as Khayla Pointer would hit a three pointer. LSU increased their lead to 6-0 before Langston finally got on the board at the 8:04 mark on a layup by Jadyn Chestnutt. LSU would then go on a 8-0 run over the next four minutes, building a 14-2 lead. The Lady Tigers held a 20-5 lead at the end of the first period, thanks too high intensity play and smothering the Lady Lions with a suffocating man-to-man defense.
Khayla Pointer would begin the second period like she began the game, hitting a three pointer putting LSU up 23-5. But Langston would begin to heat up as they cut into the Lady Tigers' lead by hitting back to back three pointers, along with a free throw, to make the score 23-12. The Lady Tigers would find it tough going in the period offensively, missing several shots under the basket, but thanks to an aggressive defense and going 10-13 from the free throw line, LSU would hold a 43-16 halftime lead.
At the break, Pointer would lead the Lady Tigers with 13 points, Hannah Gusters had 9 points, while Autum Newby and Jailin Cherry each added 8, as LSU shot 15-40 for 38% in the first half. Defensively the Lady Tigers held Langston to 5-25 from the floor for 20%, while forcing 20 turnovers.
The Lady Tigers began the third period with explosive energy going on a 14-4 run over the first five minutes, going up 57-20 with 5:14 left in the period. The onslaught continued on both ends of the court for the remainder of the 3rd with LSU outscoring the outmanned NAIA Lady Lions, 36-10. The contest would head to the fourth period with LSU leading 79-26.
Mulkey would continue to look at different lineup combinations while emptying the bench for the fourth period, watching her team work over an exhausted Langston squad. The Lady Tigers would outscore the Lady Lions 33-12 in the final period in route to a 112-48 win. It was a solid exhibition win.
LSU shot the ball much better in the second half improving to 48% from the floor for the game, while cutting down on turning the ball over. After committing 15 turnovers in the first half, LSU would only turnover the ball twice over the final two periods. The team's defensive pressure forced Langston into 44 total turnovers that the Lady Tigers would score 52 points off of. LSU also dominated on the boards, winning the rebound battle, 68-29.
Khayla Pointer finished with 22 points and 7 rebounds, .. Jailin Cherry added 17 points with 7 rebounds, .. Awa Trasi scored 15 points with 9 boards, .. Timia Ware added 15 points with 3 rebounds, .. Autum Newby contributed 10 points while grabbing 16 rebounds, .. Hannah Gusters had 9 points and 5 rebounds, .. while Faustine Aifuwa added 7 points and 6 boards.
“The game went about as I anticipated,” Coach Mulkey said. “Turnovers are always horrible, and that has to get better, and we will clean that up. The second thing I look at is field goal percentage defense, how we are guarding people out there, and how we keep it where we want it. Lastly, how do we score points? We have basically the same team with a few added pieces, how do we score points? I think you saw, we are going to score by rebounding the ball.”
Next up the Lady Tigers will play their final exhibition contest on Thursday, Nov. 4th in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Tipoff is set for 6:00pm...
Photos Below By: Jonathan Mailhes