LSU Earns Win No. 20 Over Vanderbilt, 85-62
NASHVILLE — No. 13 LSU’s stifling defensive effort helped lead the Tigers to a 85-62 win on Thursday night over Vanderbilt in Memorial Gymnasium.
The win marked LSU’s 20th of the season, keeping Coach Kim Mulkey’s streak alive of a 20-win season in all 24 years of her head coaching career.
The double-double duo of Angel Reese and Aneesah combined for 26 of LSU’s 55 rebounds. Reese earned her 14th double-double of the season with 15 points and 16 boards. Morrow scored 13 points and hauled in 10 boards for her 15th double-double this season. Morrow is now six points shy of 2,000 in her college career. This marked the 11th time this season LSU has had multiple players record double-doubles in the same game.
Flau’Jae Johnson led all scorers with 17 points on 6-15 from the field to record her 14th straight double figure game, 20th this season. Hailey Van Lith and Mikaylah Williams also played well to put all five starters in double digits. Van Lith dropped 13 and Williams finished with 10. Van Lith also tied her season-high with 7 rebounds for the second game in a row and Williams had 6.
Iyana Moore and Khamil Pierre led Vanderbilt as the only Commodores in double figures. Moore scored 17 points on 6-15 from the field and Pierre finished with 13 on 2-8 from the field and 9-10 from the foul line.
LSU’s defense was effective as the Tigers held the Commodores to 31.3-percent from the field. Morrow led LSU with six steals and the team finished with 12. The Tigers also forced 19 turnovers. LSU dominated the glass too, 57-35.
“We’re playing better basketball right now than really what we have all year,” Coach Mulkey said. “It starts on the defensive end of the court. It starts with helping each other more, moving our feet more, using our bench more. We can score the ball at all positions, but we have to get better defensively and we have. When you talk about physicality, we’re pretty big.”
The Tigers will be back inside the PMAC on Sunday afternoon as they host Alabama at 3 p.m. CT on ESPN2 for the annual Play4Kay game.
Reese led a 8-0 run to open the game, dominating both ends with 6 points and 5 boards in the first three minutes of play. After giving up just one bucket to the Commodores, the Tigers put together another 8-0 ahead of the first media timeout. LSU held Vanderbilt without a field goal for the final five minutes of the quarter and took a comfortable 22-7 lead into the second. The Tigers held Vanderbilt to 2-16 from the field and 0-7 from deep in the opening ten minutes. Reese, who finished the quarter with 8 points and 8 rebounds, picked up her second foul towards the end of the quarter and was on the bench for the whole second quarter.
After a slow start to the second LSU had a 29-13 lead at the media timeout with 5 minutes before the half. LSU looked to gain some momentum as Morrow picked off a pass in the backcourt and drove inside to finish the fast break. Del Roasrio capped off a 8-2 run with 30 seconds to go before Vanderbilt connected on its first three of the night. The Commodores missed 17 in a row from deep to start the game.
LSU took a 19-point lead into the break after shooting 41-percent from the field compared to Vandy’s 23-percent. The Tigers hauled in 11 more boards than the Commodores and out scored their opponent in the paint 22-8.
Vanderbilt went 2-2 early in the third quarter to outscore LSU 14-11 before the media timeout. Reese. Morrow, and Johnson reached double figures as the Tigers improved its total to 50 at the break. LSU was held without a field goal for over 4 minutes in the back half of the third as Vanderbilt began to chip into the Tiger lead. Cambridge scored her first 7 points of the night in the third to lead her squad to its first 20-point quarter of the contest. LSU ended the third on a 7-4 run to take a 58-40 lead into the final 10 minutes.
The Tigers held on to its lead as Vanderbilt slowly chipped away at the margin early. The Commodores put themselves within 16 four minutes into the quarter but LSU made its free throws and started to pull away before the media break. After the timeout LSU’s reserves came in to build the lead up to as many as 26 and hold off the Commodores.