Da Boot Sports
LSU Sports Communications
By: LSU Staff
BATON ROUGE — In front of an all-time PMAC record crowd of 15,721, No. 5 LSU (27-1, 15-1 SEC) tied its best regular season ever as the Tigers defeated Mississippi State (20-9, 9-7 SEC), 74-59, Sunday afternoon.
“We have just played, in my opinion, the hottest team in the SEC,” Coach Kim Mulkey said of MSU. “Those guys take you off the dribble as good as anybody. They played South Carolina to within eight. They have beaten a lot of teams as of late, they are playing good and will get in the NCAA Tournament”
LSU will play in the SEC Tournament in Greenville, S.C. next Friday at 5 p.m. CT as the No. 2 seed against the winner of No. 10 Auburn and No. 7 Georgia.
Sunday’s crowd broke the previous all-time PMAC record of 15,694 that was set during a men’s basketball game in 1981.
Angel Reese continued to write her name in the record books as she tied LSU legend Sylvia Fowles for most double-doubles in a single season with 27. Reese scored 23 points and hauled in 26 boards. Sunday marked her fifth game this year with at least 20 points and 20 rebounds.
Her 26 rebounds were her second most this year as she set a LSU record with 28 against Texas A&M in January. She is the first player in the SEC during the NCAA era with two games of 26+ rebounds in her career.
LaDazhia Williams dropped 16 and recorded 4 rebounds in the win. Alexis Morris put together another great performance and tied Reese to lead the team with 23 points.
“I just did things that we worked on in practice,” Williams said. “We really emphasized getting into the post and we knew how they were going to play us. We knew we’d have one-on-one opportunities and I was just able to knock down the shots I worked on in progress.”
Louisiana native, JerKaila Jordan led the Bulldogs with 16 points and 4 boards. She was followed by the 6-5 center, Jessika Carter who dropped 10 and brought down 6 rebounds. Jordan and Carter were the only Bulldogs to score in double figures.
The Tigers dominated the offensive glass with 21 offensive rebounds compared to 3 for MSU. That led to LSU outsourcing MSU in second chance points, 24-2. Reese had 10 of LSU’s offensive rebounds.
After dropping the first quarter 15-14, the Tiger fought back to earn a 6-point lead by the half. LSU maintained its lead the entire third quarter keeping the Bulldogs out of reach. The Tigers fed off of the PMAC energy to extend its lead to as much as 15 in the final quarter.
Reese and Morris led the way through the first five minutes with 4 points a piece in a tied game, 8-8. Carson scored a layup off a Bulldog turnover to take a 10-8 lead at the first media timeout. LSU ended the quarter in a three minute long scoring drought and down by 1.
Reese finished the opening quarter with 8 points and 6 rebounds as the Tigers were down after the first ten minutes for just the fourth time this season. Reese went 4-4 from the stripe.
A 7-0 run to start the second gave LSU a six-point lead and forced a MSU timeout with just over eight minutes before the half. The Tigers went on 6-0 shooting 4 for 4 from the field to extend their lead to twelve for the first time. Mississippi State scored six unanswered points to cut the LSU lead to six . The Tigers went into the break with a 36-30 lead.
Reese (12), Morris (10), and L. Williams (10) all reached double figures in the opening half, Carson scored the only other points (4). Reese’s 12 and 10 first half performance made double-double number 27 for the transfer, the 11th time she’s done it by halftime.
Both teams shot 48-percent from the field and struggled from deep in the first two quarters. LSU went 0-9 and MSU went 1-5 from behind the arc. The Tigers were out-rebounded and gave up six turnovers.
LSU built its lead back up to double figures three minutes into the third after going 4-4 from the free throw line. At the media timeout the Tigers had a 49-38 lead over the Bulldogs. The Tiger defense held strong and forced a 2:30 scoring drought as MSU went 0 for 4 in that period. LSU headed into the final quarter with a 54-46 lead.
Just over ten seconds into the fourth MSU’s Ramani Parker hit a three to make it a five-point game. LSU went on a 7-2 run to move its lead back to double figures. Morris led the Tigers through the final quarter with 13 points. Morris went 5-6 from the charity stripe to secure the double digit win for LSU.