Tigers Wrap Exhibition Play With 121-36 Win Over Loyola
BATON ROUGE — All 13 Tigers scored in No. 1 LSU’s final exhibition Wednesday night in a 121-36 win over Loyola (N.O.) as the Tigers can now look ahead to Monday for their season opener against No. 20 Colorado at the Hall of Fame Series Las Vegas which will air on TNT.
On Thursday night LSU will host a watch party for Piece By Piece in the PMAC, the documentary about LSU’s 2023 National Championship in the PMAC. Doors will open at 7 p.m. CT with the documentary set to begin at 8. The documentary will also air live on LSU.GOLD, but fans in attendance at the PMAC will have the chance to win exclusive prizes.
The Tigers will open their season on Monday in the Hall of Fame Series against No. 20 Colorado in Las Vegas. LSU’s first home game will be on November 9 against Queens (NC). Prior to that game, set to tipoff at 7 p.m. CT, LSU will receive its national championship rings and raise the national championship banner in the PMAC. Doors for that game will open at 5:30 and the ceremony will begin at 6:20.
Coach Mulkey started what looks to be the normal lineup on Wednesday night. LSU was led by returners Angel Reese and Flau’jae Johnson. Transfers Hailey Van Lith and Aneesah Morrow joined the starting lineup and freshman Mikaylah Williams rounded out the starting five.
All 13 players saw action in the exhibition. Seven of them reached double figures and all 13 scored. LSU shot the ball well all night at 60.5-percent, including an even 50-percent from beyond the arch. The Tigers outrebounded Loyola, 69-18.
Williams led all scorers with 20 points on 8-10 from the field and 4-6 from beyond the arc. The Freshman added three rebounds and three assists.
“I have amazing teammates,” Williams said. “So just running beside them and leading me – telling me where to go – is a good feeling.”
Johnson scored 15 on a perfect 6-6 from the field, Van Lith recorded 13 and added five assists, Del Rosario scored 16, Poa had 12, Morrow dropped 11, and Reese scored ten through her 18 minutes of action.
Sophomore Sa’Myah Smith led the team off the glass with 14 total rebounds.
Transfer, Morrow, was the only Tiger to record a double-double. The Chicago native scored 11 points and hauled in 12 rebounds.
“The great players make those around them better, and I think I have a bunch of great players to make everybody better,” Coach Mulkey said.
The Tigers shot 60-percent from the field on 49-81 compared to Loyola’s 21-percent on 14-67. LSU was 50-percent from deep and scored on 78-percent of its shots from the charity stripe. The Wolfpack was held to just 3-26 from three and was outrebounded by LSU 18-69. The Tigers scored 60 of its points in the paint and 22 came off of turnovers.
LSU opened up the night with a 15-0 run on 6-7 from the field that saw buckets from all five starters. At the media timeout Johnson led the way with 8 points on 3-3 from the field and perfect from the foul line. Williams and Morrow hit back-to-back threes out of the break to put LSU up 26-5 with just under four minutes to go. After Johnson scored five unanswered on a three and a fast break Williams ended the first quarter with a turnaround jumper to put the Tigers up by 30.
The Tigers brought out a new starting five to start the second that featured returners Sa’Myah Smith, Last-Tear Poa, and Kateri Poole. Freshmen Aaliyah Del Rosario and Janae Kent joined the trio.
Del Rosario pushed the Tigers past the 50-point mark with a solo 4-0 run. The fresh squad forced five turnovers through the first five minutes of the quarter. The Freshman led LSU through the second quarter with her 10 points and 7 boards in nine minutes. The Tigers finished the second on a 12-0 run and took a 63-16 lead into the break.
Van Lith opened the third quarter with her first three-pointer of the night. Williams followed a possession later with a triple of her own. LSU held the Wolfpack to 0 of 8 through a five and a half minute scoring drought. Williams sank her fourth three of the night to push her total to 20 and force a Loyola timeout with 1:38 remaining in the quarter. The Tigers built up a 65-point lead in the third to enter the final quarter up 94-29.
LSU broke the century mark as Poole gave up an open three and found Poa underneath the rim for an easy lay to go up 100-31. Poa followed with two made free throws and another lay up to extend the LSU run to 10-0. The Tigers held the Wolfpack to 0-10 in a 6:30 minute scoring drought that saw a 21-0 run. LSU finished the night 6 of its last 6 to extend its margin to an 82-point victory.