Reese Leads Tigers To Victory In Baltimore Over Coppin St., 80-48
BALTIMORE — Angel Reese paced the Tigers with 26 points in her Baltimore homecoming and No. 7 LSU took down Coppin State, 80-48, Wednesday night in a sold out PEC Arena.
“I’ve accomplished a lot at LSU and being able to come back here was important,” Reese said. “A lot of people came out tonight, I know some of them were here for Coppin State. Just getting to come to a historically black college was important. My aunt (played) here and my cousin. I got to come back and do a lot for this community and show little girls that this is something that is possible and was very important to me.”
“You saw an arena tonight that sold out a long time ago because of Angel Reese, the national championship, and how we play the game,” Coach Mulkey said. “It was very visible tonight.”
Wednesday’s contest marked the first time that a defending women’s NCAA DI National Champion played at an HBCU, per ESPN Stats & Info.
Reese dropped 26 points and brought down 6 boards to lead all scorers on 11-15 from the field. She also tied her career-high with 5 steals. Much of the 4,100 announced crowd came out to see Reese make her return to Baltimore for the first sellout in the history of the PEC Arena.
“It means everything,” Reese said. “When I was little I wanted my own opportunity. I am at the point where I have stretched a lot of young girls’ and boys’ minds. They know they can be in this position one day. Being able to be a leader and someone they look up to is something that I have embraced. Being from Baltimore, as you know I know, I have a great representation. Coming back here is great. I am the Baltimore Barbie before I am the Bayou Barbie.”
Last-Tear Poa was efficient running the point guard position, dishing out a career-high 8 assists with no turnovers. Aneesah Morrow secured her 7th-straight double-double as she scored 13 points and hauled in 13 rebounds. Morrow’s defense was also impressive as she finished with 3 blocks and 4 steals.
Flau’Jae Johnson finished with 18 points to mark her 3rd-straight game scoring in double figures. The Sophomore went 7-14 from the field while adding 3 assists and 3 steals.
LSU will be off for the holidays until December 30 against Jacksonville in the PMAC for a final tune-up before beginning SEC play following the turn of the year.
Coppin was led by sharpshooter Tiffany Hammond who scored 21 points on 7-15 from the three-point line. Hammond added 3 assists and a couple of steals as she accounted for nearly half of the Eagles points. Two other Eagles reached double-figures. Laila Lawrence had 11 and Faith Blackstone finished with 10. Lawrence had a double-double as she added 11 rebounds to lead Coppin.
The Tigers finished with a field goal percentage of 47.8-percent compared to Coppin State’s 34-percent. LSU was able to dominate the paint with a 48-26 rebound advantage and 52 points inside the paint. The Tigers scored 26 points off of the 22 forced turnovers.
The Tigers opened up with a 17-3 run led by Reese and Johnson through the first five minutes of action. With just over a minute to go Johnson hit a triple to push the Tigers past the 20-point margin and give LSU a 22-8 lead over CSU. Reese finished the first quarter with 10 points and Johnson had 9. Both Players were 4-5 from the field in the first 10 minutes.
The Eagles picked up momentum early in the second as they held LSU scoreless for over two minutes on 5-0 run. After only leading by 8, Last-Tear Poa hit her first three of the season to move the lead back to double figures, 31-20. Hammond boosted Coppins scoring late in the quarter as she went 3-4 from beyond the arch. Despite going 1-8 on its last 8 attempts, LSU took a 40-26 lead into halftime.
Johnson led a 7-0 LSU run to start the third quarter as she scored 5 points in the first two minutes. CSU’s Hammond halted the run with her fifth three-point of the game to make it 47-29, Tigers. LSU defense continued to give the Eagles problems as the Tigers went on a 10-2 run to give them a 30-point lead. LSU held Coppin scoreless for over 2 minutes as it took a 64-33 lead into the final quarter.
LSU forced an early CSU timeout as Reese capped off a 6-0 run with a coast-to-coast finish through two Eagle defenders. Both teams continued to trade buckets until CSU called a timeout with 2:30 left in regulation. LSU held the Eagles scoreless for the final 3 minutes as it cruised to a 80-48 win in Baltimore.