Da Boot Sports
By: Terrill J. Weil
BATON ROUGE, LA: Kim Mulkey and her LSU Lady Tigers would host Loyola for their final exhibition game of the season. After a close first period, the Lady Tigers would pull away for a dominating 87-48 victory.
The Kim Mulkey era will now begin for real when the season officially starts on Tuesday Nov. 9th. in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center against Nicholls. Tipoff is set for 11:00am
The Lady Tigers got on the board first after Loyola controlled the opening tip and failed to score, as Sarah Shematsi would hit a shot from behind the arc to give LSU a 3-0 lead. The Wolf Pack would quickly answer the other way with a three pointer from Kate Petrovic to tie things up 3-3. Both teams would trade three pointers again over the next two possessions knotting the game up at 6-6 at the 8:18 mark. Over the next four minutes both teams continued to play well, keeping the score even at 12-12. Loyola continued to give LSU all they could handle in the opening period using their speed and quickness while hitting nice shots from the outside going on a 7-5 run to grab a 19-17 lead with 8 seconds left. But Khayla Pointer fired up and hit deep three from the top of the key at the buzzer to give the Lady Tigers a 20-19 lead at the end of the first period.
Over the first three and a half minutes of the second period the pesky Lady Wolf Pack would continue to give LSU fits, pulling the game even at 25-25. But the Lady Tigers would finally settle down and begin to heat up, taking control of the contest. In the final six minutes of the half, LSU would start to use their height advantage to outrebound Loyola, scoring easily in the paint to go on a 17-1 run, taking a 42-26 lead into the locker room at the half.
Khayla Pointer led the team with 18 first half points while Newby and Shematsi added six points each. LSU shot a decent 45% from the floor making 15-33 field goals. The Lady Tigers would also go 4-11 from behind the three point arc, while going 8-11 from the free throw line. Like this past Saturday, LSU had several turnovers in the first half, committing 12.
Defensively the Lady Tigers struggled early with a well coached Loyola squad who ran the floor nicely and shot well in the first period. LSU would go on to outscore the Lady Wolf Pack 22-7 in the second period, while forcing Loyola into 16 turnovers. The taller Lady Tigers also managed to win the first half rebound battle, 22-13.
Loyola opened the scoring to start the third period with a three point jumper by Taylor Thomas with 8:53 on the clock, cutting the LSU lead to 42-29. But the Lady Tigers would pick up right where they left off in the second period, taking quick control of the game, going on a 11-0 run over the next five minutes to grab a 53-29 lead with 4:12 left in the period. The LSU man-to-man defense would frustrate Loyola through the rest of the period, forcing the Lady Wolf Pack to take bad shots and force several turnovers to help start a 14-5 run to end the third period, giving LSU a 67-34 lead.
Sydni Tangle would start the final period hitting a three pointer for Loyola to cut the LSU lead to 30 points, 67-37. But Timia Ware quickly answered on the other end for LSU hitting a three herself. 70-37 with 9:10 left in the game. Just as Coach Mulkey did late in the game this past Saturday, she would begin to put in different lineup combinations while emptying the bench. LSU continued to aggressively dominate the offensive boards, giving themselves several second chance points as the Lady Tigers held on to their 30 point advantage, 72-42 at the 6:12 mark. LSU would finish the game on a 15-7 run as bench players battled hard until the final seconds.
Khayla Pointer led the team with 24 points, Jailin Cherry added 12 points, while Hannah Gusters contributed 11. Autumn Newby had another great game on the boards grabbing 12 rebounds while adding 9 points.
“Every time we get on the floor, we get better,” said head coach Kim Mulkey. “We are scoring a lot of points in the two exhibition games, but I still feel like, honestly, our defense is really wearing people down.”
Photos Below By: Michael Bacigalupi
Photos Below By: Jonathan Mailhes