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Strong Second Half Leads LSU Past ULL, 83-53

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Strong Second Half Leads LSU Past ULL, 83-53

BATON ROUGE — The game was tied at half, but No. 7 LSU used a strong second half performance to power past Louisiana-Lafayette, 83-53, Sunday in the PMAC.

The Tiger trio of Aneesah Morrow, Mikaylah Williams, and Angel Reese all scored in double-figures to help lead the second half scoring effort. The three combined for 65 of LSU’s 83 points on Sunday. Morrow, with 27 points and 10 rebounds, and Williams, with 18 points and a career-high 11 rebounds, both had double-doubles. Reese finished with 20 points and was one rebound shy of a double-double.

“Aneesah Morrow plays with a little chip on her shoulder, like most great ones do,” Coach Kim Mulkey said. “I don’t know of a great athlete that doesn’t have a way to motivate themself and have a chip on their shoulder. She has that eternal chip where she knows that she can play at any level.”

“She’s one of the top freshmen in the nation and she has a lot to add to her game,” Morrow added about Williams. “She hasn’t reached the peak of her game. She got more rebounds than me tonight and that’s something I’ve been challenging the guards to do.”

Freshman Aalyah Del Rosario also played valuable minutes with 7 points and 8 rebounds. Last-Tear Poa led the team with 7 assists.

ULL was led by Brandi Williams and Tamera Johnson who scored 14 and 13, respectively. Brandi Williams was the only other player to connect on more than one three-pointer besides LSU’s Mikaylah Williams. The senior went 6-12 from the field and had five boards. Johnson was 5-9 and the only other Cajun to hit a three. 

The game was a tale of two halves. ULL shot 46.4-percent in the first half and its zone had LSU’s offense out of sorts, shooting 27.3-percent from the field. The team’s went into the half tied at 28, but the Tigers came out to start the second half on a 19-4 run and extended the lead from there.

“I thought that everything we did in the second half was totally different from what we did in the first half,” Coach Kim Mulkey said. “It starts with your effort, energy, and aggressiveness.”

The Tigers finished the contest at 48-percent from the field compared to ULL’s 38-percent. Both teams had four three-pointers and both squads gave up 17 turnovers. LSU went 27-39 from the free throw line and the Cajuns scored 5 on its 12 attempts. The Tigers dominated the glass as they out-rebounded ULL 52-22 and scored 36 points in the paint. LSU amounted 7 blocks and had 19 assists, compared to ULL’s 4.

The Tigers will be back in action on Tuesday night as they host McNeese at 7:00 p.m. inside the PMAC. LSU will be hosting a toy drive to prepare for Friday’s Christmas Clubhouse event. Participating fans are asked to donate new and unopened toys. 

After ULL started the game on an 8-2 run, Williams scored five straight to put LSU within one before the first media timeout. After the break Williams assisted Del Rosario down low to give LSU its first lead of the game, 9-8. Flau’Jae Johnson went 1-2 from the foul line to extend the Tiger’s run to 11-0 before the end of the quarter. The LSU defense held the Cajuns scoreless for the final five minutes of the opening quarter as the freshmen tandem of Del Rosario and Williams scored a combined 10 points in the opening frame.

The Cajuns went on a 9-3 run to open the second quarter and regain its lead 17-16. A made Reese free throw tied the game shortly before ULL’s Williams hit a corner three to go up 20-17 with just over six minutes remaining in the half.  At the media timeout LSU was just 1-6 from the field and scored four of its six points from the charity stripe. Morrow checked in and scored a quick jumper to break a 7:41 scoring drought. The junior followed a possession later with another bucket to tie things up at 28 before halftime. 

LSU scored 11 of its first half points from the foul line as it went 8-25 for 32-percent from the field in the first half. ULL shot 46-percent and only made one of its three attempts from the charity stripe. The Tigers were able to out-rebound the Cajuns 21-16 despite being outscored 14-10 inside the paint. 

After ULL scored the first points of the third Reese and Morrow combined for a 10-0 run to take a 38-30 lead four and a half minutes into the quarter. Williams nailed a three-pointer on the wing to give the Tigers their first double digit lead of the day and force a ULL timeout. Reese and Morrow scored 12 and 10, respectively, to lead LSU to a 19-point lead before the final quarter. The Tigers went 75-percent from the field and ULL to 3-14 and scoreless in the final three minutes. 

LSU held on to its lead through the opening minutes of the final quarter as it traded buckets with the Cajuns. LSU was able to contain the late shooting effort from ULL as Morrow scored 10 through eight minutes of action. Williams contributed two threes in the final quarter before the LSU reserves finished out the final two minutes. LSU held its 30-point lead as time expired to secure the win, 83-53.