LSU Faces Sunday Road Test At Florida

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LSU Faces Sunday Road Test At Florida

GAINESVILLE, FLA. – The No. 11/10 LSU Women’s Basketball team (17-2, 5-1 SEC) will be back in action Sunday on to road at 1 p.m. CT in Exactech Arena against a Florida Gators team (14-5, 4-2 SEC) that has won four in a row.

“Florida is a very good basketball team,” said Head Coach Kim Mulkey who is looking for her 650th win as a head coach on Sunday. “I’m so impressed with their quickness, their speed, their transition game. They have a lot of players that they play, and they have a young lady that’s a freshman (Alberte Rimdal) that is killing it from the three right now. It’s going to be a very difficult game. They’re confident right now.”

The game will be streamed on the SEC Network + with Kyle Crooks and Brittany Davis. Patrick Wright and Shaeeta Williams will call the game on the LSU Sports Radio Network, 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge.

LSU is off to its best start in 15 years since the Tigers began the 2006-07 season 20-2. Playing as well as anybody in the conference in Head Coach Kim Mulkey’s first year at LSU, the Tigers have combined hard-nosed defense with elite scoring to lead the conference with a +19.11 scoring margin. The Tigers also lead the conference and are No. 24 in the nation with 76.63 points per game.

It has started with elite guard play. Khayla Pointer is playing as one of the best players in the nation and is filling up the stat sheet every night averaging 18.2 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game. She is six rebounds shy of becoming the first player in LSU history to eclipse 1,500 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists.

Alexis Morris, who had 18 first-half points last Sunday against Vanderbilt, has been a dynamic addition on offense and is averaging 14.6 points per game. Jailin Cherry has started to bloom too and has totaled 32 points, 17 assists and 16 rebounds over the past two games, including in LSU’s overtime win over Missouri where Cherry hit numerous clutch shots down the stretch.

“You’ve got Morris, you’ve got Cherry, you’ve got Khayla, you’ve got Ryann (Payne),” Coach Mulkey mentioned her guards. “Those are four guards that, who are you really going to focus on? Because they will all light you up. They will rebound the ball as small guards. They will all defend you with speed and quickness. It is a blessing to have that much speed, that much talent, on one team together. They complement each other well.”

In the post Faustine Aifuwa has been the best shooting player in SEC play. The center is shooting 65.5-percent from the field in conference play to lead the SEC by nearly 10 percentage points.

“That’s a big thing for her,” Coach Mulkey said. “The means she’s taking shots she’s capable of making. She’s mixing it up facing the basket. She’s getting you offensive boards. She’s battling and she’s getting put backs.”

Coach Mulkey said Autumn Newby, LSU’s leading rebounder and most athletic big, will be back on Sunday at Florida after exiting the Missouri game with an injury and missing the Vanderbilt game.

After a full week without playing a game, LSU will head to Florida to face a team that has been hot. After losing its first two games in SEC play, the Gators have won four in a row and defeated No. 23 Kentucky on the road Thursday night by 25 points.

Alberte Rimdal is the reigning SEC Freshman of the Week after going 6-for-6 (5-for-5 from three) and scoring 17 points in Florida’s win over Alabama. Thursday against Kentucky she attempted only threes and was 5-for-6 with 15 points.

The recent scoring surge of Rimdal combined with other dynamic scorers like Kiara Smith (13.8 ppg) and Jordyn Merritt (10.5 ppg) gives LSU a challenge defensively. Florida pushes the ball down the court quickly offensively and uses a full-court press in an attempt to create turnovers on defense.

LSU has limited its turnovers in conference play and leads the conference with a 1.32 assist-turnover margin. Cherry and Pointer are No. 1 and 2, respectively, individually in conference play for assist-turnover ratio.

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