Da Boot Sports
By: David Penn
COLUMBIA, SC - Coach Kim Mulkey said before tip off on Sunday that “No one is on their level” when referring to Dawn Staley and the South Carolina Gamecocks.
LSU, now (23-1, 11-1) did little to dispel that notion in the Tigers' first loss of the season, falling to
the defending national champions, 88-64.
South Carolina (25-0, 12-0) ended two notable streaks for LSU. One, the Tigers' record 23 game
winning streak to begin the season and two, Angel Reese’s streak of 23 consecutive double doubles.
The game also featured a matchup of Aliyah Boston and Angel Reese, who are both in contention for player of the year honors.
South Carolina raced out to an 18-2 advantage over the Lady Tigers with several LSU players landing in early foul trouble.
LSU fought back though on the back of Alexis Morris, who consistently beat the South Carolina defense off the dribble and high ball screens, as LSU cut the South Carolina lead to three in the first half.
But the depth and talent of the Gamecocks allowed them to stretch their first half lead to 10 points before the end of the second period.
At the end of the first half Angel Reese was held to season lows of three points and one rebound.
Reese scored the first bucket of the contest for LSU but wouldn't score again until sinking a free throw
just before halftime.
Alexis Morris finished the first half with 15 points, doing all she could to keep the Tigers within
In the second half, the Tigers clawed their way back to cut the South Carolina lead to five points, but that was the closest the Tigers would get as South Carolina pulled away from LSU, eventually building the Gamecocks biggest lead of the game, 24 points, which was also the final difference on the scoreboard.
Reese would play better on offense scoring 13 points in the second half, but the Gamecocks dominated
the boards, out rebounding LSU 43-25. LSU was led in rebounds by Sa’Myah Smith, who grabbed six boards. Smith also led LSU in assists with two.
“This is just one game." Kim Mulkey said. "There are goals we have, and we’ve got to take tomorrow off
and get ready for Ole Miss. Be thankful that LSU was on this stage. Who in the world would have thought that we would be on this stage in year two of rebuilding the program?”
LSU will host Ole Miss on Thursday night at the PMAC in the Play4Kay pink out game.
LSU has four games remaining before the SEC tournament begins, where the Tigers could
earn themselves a rematch with the Gamecocks. Undoubtedly, LSU will relish a chance to play South Carolina again.
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