Aifuwa Leads Tigers in 66-58 Win Over Missouri
BATON ROUGE, La. — The LSU Women’s Basketball Team took down Missouri in a battle Monday night at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, 66-58. LSU moves to 17-5 overall and 7-3 in conference play. Mizzou falls to 6-18 overall and 3-8 in the SEC.
Redshirt junior Faustine Aifuwa excelled for the Tigers with a season-high 19 points and tied her career-high for rebounds with 16 for the second game in a row. She was accompanied in double digit scoring by three of her teammates. Senior Jaelyn Richard-Harris had a season-high tying 14 points, junior Khayla Pointer had 12 and junior transfer Awa Trasi, starting in place of the injured Ayana Mitchell scored 11. Richard-Harris was perfect from the free throw line, shooting 8-8 and contributing to a team free throw percentage of 77.8.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- LSU was on the board first thanks to a jumper by Pointer, but Mizzou was quick to retaliate with a made three to go up 3-2.
- After a 6-0 run by Mizzou, LSU called a timeout and followed it up with a three by Pointer to close the gap at 6-5.
- LSU regained the lead at 10-8 thanks to a three by Richard-Harris and a layup by Aifuwa.
- With 15 seconds left in the first quarter, LSU trailed by five as Mizzou was up 17-12.
- LSU started off the second quarter with two free throws by redshirt junior Rakell Spencer to close within three at 17-14.
- Mizzou continued to succeed offensively and with a three pointer, they were up 25-18 with 6:33 left in the half.
- LSU began to close the gap, down 28-24 as Mizzou called a timeout with 4:09 left in the second quarter.
- Trasi had a three out of the timeout to bring LSU within one, 28-27 Mizzou.
- LSU again brought it within one as Trasi made a three to cut the lead to 34-33 Mizzou.
- Mizzou led 38-34 at halftime.
- LSU scored first in the second half with a three, again by Trasi to put them with one, 38-37.
- Aifuwa gave LSU the lead at 39-38 with a layup.
- Mizzou called a timeout after a foul called against them as they came back off of free throws and a layup to go up 42-39.
- LSU and Mizzou continued to trade points throughout the third quarter and entered the fourth tied at 44-44.
- Aifuwa made two layups to start the fourth putting LSU up 48-44 with 8:52 left to play as Mizzou called a timeout.
- LSU extended its lead to six at 54-48 with 4:04 left in the game.
- LSU continued to extend its lead to 12, 62-50, with 1:08 left to play as Mizzou called a timeout.
- After a 5-0 run by Mizzou, LSU called a timeout with 39 seconds left as it was up 64-55.
- Richard-Harris scored her 7th and 8th free throws of the game at the 33 second mark to seal the 66-58 win.
LSU will be at home again on Thursday, February 13 to take on Tennessee at 6:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on SECN+ and live stats will be available.
Head Coach Nikki Fargas Post-Game Quotes
On the team just settling in and committing on the defensive end…
“I asked them what defense they wanted to play because we needed to be committed on that end of the floor. I thought in the second half we locked in a little bit better in our man-to-man. I know in the first half we lost them a few times as far as the three ball is concerned. One of our main defensive goals was to not allow them to spot-up and shoot threes. In the second half we only gave up two threes and both of them were late in the game. Overall, I can’t say enough about the defensive effort of Rakell Spencer and Tiara Young in the second half, while guarding a very talented Aijha Blackwell. Those two did a nice job of defending her and trying to limit her touches.”
On Faustine Aifuwa finding her groove in the second half…
“I think she was worried about whether they were going to draw charges early in the game. So we told her to go to her face-up game, square up, elevate and just knock down the shot. The other thing that I think got Faustine going was that she got some big time rebounds. Her offensive put backs were energy plays for us and allowed us to get second opportunities. For her to take up that scoring role for us was key. We also had four players in double-digits which was also key. I was messing with Jaelyn Richard-Harris because she has been in the gym working hard, I asked her if she was going to make a shot in the second half. However, her going 8-8 from the free throw line was just as big as any shot she could’ve made.”
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