Williams Scores 42 in LSU’s 109-79 Win Over Kent St.
BATON ROUGE — Mikaylah Williams set the NCAA-era LSU freshman scoring record with 42 points on Tuesday afternoon in the PMAC during the annual Field Trip Game, as the Tigers took down Kent State, 109-79.
Williams was 15-20 from the field including 5-8 from three with 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. Totaling 42 points, she set the NCAA era LSU freshman record and became just the 11th player in program history to total over 40 points and the first since Cornelia Gayden set the LSU scoring record with 49 points (2/9/1995). Maree Jackson had games of 45 (vs. UNLV on Feb. 12, 1977) and 44 points (vs. Northwestern State in the AIAW State Tournament on Feb. 26, 1977) as a freshman in 1976-77.
“I wouldn’t say I wanted the ball every time,” Williams said. “My teammates just knew that I had the hot hand so I applaud them for getting me the ball. I was just executing on the shots.”
“She’s a special talent,” coach Kim Mulkey said of Williams. “It was one of those moments where the rim feels as big as the ocean.”
Aneesah Morrow was close to an unusual double-double. She had 17 points and 9 steals, one shy of tying the LSU record. She also had 8 rebounds to push her close to a triple-double with 2 blocks and 2 assists as well.
“I’m very active on defense, and coming here to LSU I had a goal to do better defensively. Just knowing that I’m undersized in the post and trying to play on the three. Just capitalizing and being versatile on the court.”
Hailey Van Lith, Angel Reese and Flau’Jae Johnson also scored in double figures for the Tigers.
Kent State’s Katie Shumate totaled 22 points as she went 4-6 from beyond the three-point-line. Other Golden Flashes to reach double figures were Jenna Batsch and Bridget Dunn with 16 and 11, respectively.
Coach Mulkey will return home to Tangipahoa Parish on Friday night as LSU is poised to go on the road to face Southeastern at 7 p.m. CT inside Pride Roofing University Center.
The Tigers will hit the road for the second time this season as coach Mulkey will make her return to Tangipahoa parish as LSU takes on Southeastern Louisiana on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. inside the Pride Roofing University Center in Hammond.
LSU went 42-74 for 57-percent from the field compared to Kent State’s 26-60, 43-percent. The Golden Flashes out-shot the Tigers from deep as they totaled 14 to LSU’s six. LSU scored 42 of its points off turnovers and only gave up 13 takeaways. The Tigers used its size advantage down low as LSU scored 58 of its points inside the paint.
Kent State’s Dunn kept things close early by knocking down two threes in the opening three minutes to match the Tigers total and make it 6-6. Kent State held an 11-8 lead at the first media timeout after the lead changed three times in the opening five minutes. A fast break assist from Williams gave Reese her first bucket of the game for a three-point-play that tied the game at 13. Williams went 2-2 from the foul line to bring the Tigers within one to end the opening quarter, 17-16.
Made layups from Morrow and Williams to open the second quarter gave LSU its first lead since two minus into the game. Reese added four points of her own to make it a 8-0 run as the Tigers went up 24-18. Shumate put the flashes back within one as she scored five unanswered just before the media timeout. SMith and Reese combined for all but two of LSU’s remaining points in the half. The Tigers took a 2-point lead into the break, 30-37.
The Golden Flashes lit up the three point line in the opening half as they went 7-16 for an impressive 43.8-percent. LSU was 0-6 from beyond the arc. Shumate led all scores with 17 points on 5-11, with 4 triples. Reese and Williams were the only LSU players in double figures through the first half, 11 and 10 respectively.
After Kent State regained the lead in the first minute and a half of third quarter play, Williams hit LSU’s first three of the game to take a two-point advantage. LSU built upon this lead to go on a 14-2 run and take an 11-point lead into the media timeout. Williams marked a new career high of 22 as she hit a top of the key jumper to give LSU its largest lead of the night, 15.
LSU scored seven points in the first 50 seconds of the final quarter to go up by 22 and force a Kent State timeout. Williams and Van Lith went on to combine for 28 of LSU’s 38 fourth quarter points. The Tigers cruised to a 30-point win as LSU marked its third straight game breaking the century mark.