Da Boot Sports
LSU Sports Information
By: LSU Staff
BATON ROUGE -- Sa’Myah Smith scored 21-points for the second straight game to tie a career-high and recorded her second career double-double with 11 boards to power LSU past MVSU, 109-47, Sunday in the PMAC.
“I worked on improving my jumping ability,” said Smith, who stayed in Baton Rouge over the summer to work on her game. “The consistent work I put in over the summer definitely helped, knowing what I can do and being confident in myself gives me all the motivation I need to produce results. I also worked on improving my jump shot. My main focus was finding a way to stay consistent.”
Angel Reese recorded the 37th double-double in 39 total games at LSU as she passed Ayana Mitchell for the second most double-doubles in program history. She had 14 points and 10 rebounds to record her 10th straight double-double and while adding 4 assists.
Other Tigers to reach double digits include Mikaylah Williams, Annesah Morrow, and Hailey Van Lith. Williams scored 20 points for the first time in her collegiate career as she lit up the three point line on 5-6 from deep. Morrow added 14 with 5 rebounds and 3 blocks. Van Lith totaled 11 points and had a game-high 6 assists with just one turnover. Ten of LSU’s 12 players who saw the court scored in the game.
Flau’Jae Johnson was out Sunday with an illness so LSU introduced its third unique starting lineup in as many games this season with Van Lith, Williams, Poa, Smith and Reese.
At halftime of the game, Mulkey gifted seven of her former coaches national championship rings. The coaches ranged from junior-high to AAU to high school to college and she played for all of them inside the state of Louisiana. A full list of who she gifted rings to can be found at the bottom of this release with a bio of each of them.
“On a personal level, having those coaches on the floor shows what they mean to me,” Mulkey said. “I think that particular group on the floor meant a lot to the state of Louisiana. That was women’s basketball royalty, and a lot of them didn’t get the recognition that women’s basketball gets now. There were a lot of wins on that floor.”
Sh’Diamond McKnight led MVSU with 21 points on 8-22 from the field and 2 three-pointers. No other Devilette had more than 5 points. Four Devilettes fouled out Sunday afternoon.
The Tigers went 55-percent (36-66) from the field compared to MVSU’s 24-percent (17-70). LSU scored its most threes of the season with six, five from Williams and one from Morrow. The Tigers won the battle on the boards as it out-rebounded MVSU 59-33. Sunday’s victory scoring 109 points marked LSU’s second game in a row eclipsing the century mark.
LSU’s physicality on the court overpowered MVSU. The Tigers went to the line for 50 free-throws, tied for the second most in program history although they only made 62-percent of their shots from the charity stripe.
LSU will be back in action on Tuesday at 11 a.m. CT for its annual field trip game as the Tigers take on Kent State.
After going down by four to start the game, the Tigers pieced together an 11-0 run to take a seven point lead into the media timeout. Reese accounted for eight of the points in the run while Williams added a three. LSU forced a MVSU timeout with just under two minutes in the first after a 10-0 run where the Tigers went 5-5 from the field. After the opening ten minutes of action the Tigers took a 29-9 lead into the second quarter.
Williams hit her fourth three-pointer of the game to extend the LSU lead and give her 14 points with five minutes to play in the half. After Turner three put the Devilettes past the 20-point mark Morrow scored four straight that was capped off a strong fast break finish. The Tigers outscored MVSU 21-14 in the second quarter to take a 50-23 lead into the half.
Three Tigers finished the first half with double figures to total for 35 of LSU’s 50 points in the first half. Williams had 14 points on 4-5 from deep, Reese had 11 with six rebounds, and Smith scored 10 with five boards. LSU was 48-percent from the field compared to the Devilettes’ 27-percent.
The third quarter opened with a team effort as the Tigers extended its lead to 38 in the first five minutes of the half. LSU held the Delta Devils scoreless for over three minutes in the third quarter. Williams hit her fifth triple of the night to bring her total to 20 and set a new career high. Smith earned her third block of the night and then found Van Lith in transition who finished down low to give the Tigers a 50-point lead. The 34 points scored in the third was the most totaled in any quarter this season.
After splitting the opening three minutes of the fourth with MVSU 5-5, Reese picked up her tenth rebound of the night and heaved a full-court pass to Van Lith who finished on the other end. The rebound secured Reese’s 37th career double-double. LSU followed with a 10-0 run to bring its lead to 57 with six minutes to go. Freshman, Angelica Velez came off the bench in the final quarter to score six and extend the LSU lead to 62.
At halftime of Sunday’s game, Coach Mulkey presented 2023 National Championship rings to the coaches she played for in Louisiana growing up:
Ms. Fairy Hannible:
Ms. Hannible was Coach Mulkey’s 7th & 8th grade coach at Hammond Jr. High. Her 8th grade team was undefeated and started the playing and coaching legacy that was to follow.
Coach of her 1977 AAU team that was undefeated and won the State AAU Tournament. Along with her AAU program and Basketball Camp that she ran for 50 years, she was a highly successful coach at the high school level having coached at the Academy of Sacred Heart in Grand Coteau, Opelousas High, Carencro High, Northside and others having won over 1,400 games.
Domino’s AAU club was her team for four years and was Coached by Charlie Domino. These teams were very successful, highlighted by two AAU National Championships.
Mary Jo Castell:
Mary Jo Castell was her Freshman and Sophomore Coach at Hammond High School. State Championships were won both seasons. Coach Castell left Hammond High School and became the Head Coach at what is now the University of Louisiana Lafayette.
Coach Iwana McGee was her coach at Hammond High School her Junior and Senior seasons. The Tors finished both seasons as State Champions. Coach McGee later became the Head Coach at Lamar University. Iwana passed away in 2008. Accepting on behalf of Coach McGee were her sisters Barbara McGee and Carol King.
When the Louisiana Tech Women’s Basketball Program was founded in 1974, Sonja Hogg was appointed Head Coach. Coach Hogg recruited Kim out of Hammond High convincing her to continue her career at Louisiana Tech University. Mulkey always wanted to play with the best and for the best and found that in Ruston. During Kim’s career as a player, Coach Hogg’s Lady Techsters reached the Final 4 all four years winning 2 National Championships. Coach Hogg is a member of the Louisiana Tech Hall of Fame, The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
Coach Leon Barmore was associated with Coach Mulkey for 22 years as either a player or coach. Not only was he an assistant coach during her playing days at Tech but upon being named Head Coach at Louisiana Tech appointed her as an assistant coach and later Associate Head Coach. Along with the National Championships as an assistant coach with Kim as a player, Coach Barmore also won a National Championship as the Head Coach with Kim on his staff. A few years after Coach Mulkey was hired at Baylor, she asked Coach Barmore to join her staff where he coached for three seasons reaching another Final 4. Coach Barmore is a member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
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