Tigers Lose Heartbreaker in Record 4th OT Game of the Season
BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU battled in their fourth overtime game of the season, but the women’s basketball team came up short, falling to the Florida Gators, 73-66, inside the Pete Maravich Assembly Center Thursday night despite senior Khayla Pointer’s 18-point second-half resurgence.
The Tigers fall to 8-9 on the season and 6-5 in the SEC, while the Gators move to 10-8 on the season and 3-7 in the league.
Redshirt senior Faustine Aifuwa continued to shine down low in the paint, grabbing the 17th double-double of her career and her seventh of the season. She finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds, and a block. The single block moves her closer to second on the all-time blocks list, trailing Julie Gross (178; 1978-80) by three.
Pointer came out of the gate slowly but picked it up in the second half and overtime period amassing 22 points in the latter three periods. She finished with a season-high 27 points, two rebounds, two assists, and one steal.
Senior Awa Trasi showed herself to be a matchup problem in the paint. She collected 10 points and six rebounds and shot 4-4 from the free-throw line. This is the fourth-straight contest she scored double-digits.
Sophomore Tiara Young had a solid night with nine points, five rebounds, four assists, and two steals from off the bench.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- LSU scored first after a layup by Trasi. That score started a run that had LSU leading Florida 10-4 at the first-quarter timeout.
- After the timeout, Florida closed the gap, going on a 10-6 scoring run to finish the quarter. The Tigers led the Gators 16-14 after one-quarter of play.
- Florida scored first in the second quarter to tie the game at 16. Aifuwa made a jumper to get the second-quarter scoring started for LSU.
- With 4:46 remaining in the quarter, LSU and Florida were tied at 18.
- Florida ended the quarter on a 7-3 scoring run. The Gators led the Tigers 25-21 at the half.
- Aifuwa banked a shot in to open the third quarter.
- The Gators held the advantage through the third-quarter media timeout leading 30-26.
- A back-and-forth affair saw the third quarter end with Florida maintaining a 41-37 lead.
- Pointer opened the fourth quarter with a seven-point surge early in the final quarter that saw both teams trade the lead.
- Young closed the gap to a single point at the final media timeout with a shifty euro-step layup.
- The Tigers successfully roared back to send the game to overtime thanks to another Pointer and-one.
- The first couple minutes of overtime saw a very tight stretch of play with the Gators managing to take a one-point lead.
- The Gators finished the game strong, winning 73-66.
Nikki Fargas‘ Postgame Quotes
“This team showed that we have to be ready to play strong quarters the entire game. We have got to be more diligent in our efforts to score the ball. We are probably playing about 30 minutes of good basketball, and we always play with at least one quarter where we struggle to score. You look at shot selection and opportunities to score the basketball. We are getting enough attempts, I just feel we need to get more second and third chances. We’ve got to control the boards. Florida did a great job of really going to their go-tos. Pretty much everyone that scored for them had a basket or more. We couldn’t generate enough offense in the second quarter. It’s hard to play teams in our league when you’re only scoring five points in a quarter. That’s gonna make for a long night.”
On LSU’s energy…
“I thought we had some energy plays there. I thought we started the game with a lot of energy. We were up 10-4 and then the fouls started, so I had to take my starters out and they went on a run. We only scored six more points after that. Going into the second quarter, you have to keep that momentum going and when we lost it at the end of the first quarter, it was really difficult getting it back. I said to my staff ‘We can’t lose momentum, we are a momentum type flowing team.’ We tried to generate enough defensive pressure in our full-court presses and things like that. We turned them over 18 times, but our inability to score in the second quarter really hurt us. It’s kind of defeating when you come out the gates quick and then your second quarter is really flat. I think our offensive mindset is to play with our post game and things like that. We only had six assists on the night and that’s not good enough. A good offensive team has anywhere from 14 to 15 assists a game and we only had six. We got outrebounded, that’s a problem too. I thought we missed some rebounds that led to putbacks for them. We also lost Briggs way too much. She and Smith are two of the best combo guards in our game. You have to know where they are at all times on the floor. You have to be aware of their ability to score the basketball and be aware they are going to take a lot of shots, but let’s make it as difficult as we can and I didn’t feel like we did that tonight.
The Tigers will head to Columbia, South Carolina, where they will take on the No. 1 Gamecocks inside Colonial Life Arena on Valentine’s Day. The matchup will be televised on the SEC Network on Sunday, February 14, at 11 a.m. CT. As always, fans are encouraged to tune into the LSU Sports Radio Network, broadcasting on 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge, with Voice of the Tigers Patrick Wright calling the action.