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Tigers Take Down Kentucky on Senior Day, 77-56

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Tigers Take Down Kentucky on Senior Day, 77-56

BATON ROUGE  — No. 9 LSU (26-4, 13-3 SEC) defeated Kentucky (11-19, 4-12 SEC) on Sunday afternoon, 77-56, as it hosted its annual senior day in front of 14,044 fans inside PMAC, ending the regular season on an eight-game win streak.

Angel Reese finished the day with 22 points and 14 rebounds for her 20th double-double of the season. Reese was 10-18 from the field and led LSU with a season high 5 blocks. Hailey Van Lith added 15 points as one of four starters to reach double figures. Reese and Van Lith were both honored for senior day, but have the option to return next year. They have both said they will not make an announcement regarding that decision until after the season is over.

“I want to leave my legacy as somebody that was just unapologetically me,” Reese said. “Being able to just come in every day, be happy, work hard and do whatever it takes to win. I mean, I feel like I made a lot of sacrifices coming here, not really knowing what it was going to be like, taking a step of faith.”

“Hopefully the best moments are waiting for us, yet to happen at the end of the season,” Van Lith said. “But, I think it’s been a great year for growth and just trying to get better as a person, as a player and as a student.”

Flau’Jae Johnson followed with 21 points on 8-12 from the field. Johnson added 7 rebounds,  4 steals and 4 assists. Aneesah Morrow recorded 15 points and hauled in 10 rebounds to earn her 17th double-double. 

“She is everything you want to show young people about how much you can improve your freshman year to your sophomore year,” Coach Mulkey said of Johnson.

Saniah Tyler, Ajae Petty, and Amiya Jenkins all reached double figures for Kentucky, combining for 41 of the Wildcats’ 77 points. Petty earned a double-double with 13 points and 15 rebounds. Tyler was 4-7 from deep and Jenkins was 6-12 from the field. 

The Tigers went 31-69 from the field for 45-percent compared to Kentucky’s 22-62 for 35-percent. The Wildcats did have the advantage beyond the arch as they combined for 6-15 from three and LSU was just 1-12 on its three-point attempts. LSU forced 23 turnovers while only allowing 15. 

The Wildcats were no match inside with LSU as the Tigers outscored them 50-24 inside the paint and won the battle off the boards 43-37. The Tigers added 14 steals and 8 blocks to its defense while scoring 22 of their points on fast breaks. 

With its win at Georgia on Thursday LSU locked up the No. 2 seed in the SEC Tournament which means it will play in Greenville, South Carolina next Friday at 5 p.m. CT. Today’s win over Kentucky allowed LSU to finish in sole possession of second place in the SEC. 

LSU went on a 6-0 run to open the game after the Tigers went 4-4 from the foul line in the first minute. After the scoring reached 10-5, LSU, both teams went scoreless for over two minutes. LSU broke the drought with six-straight points to take its first double figure lead of the night and force a Wildcat timeout. The Tigers finished the first quarter with an 11-point lead, 20-9. 

Kentucky outscored LSU 5-3 to start the second quarter after the Tigers missed their first four field goal attempts. Reese led a 8-0 LSU run in response as she scored 6 unanswered on her own to start the run. Following the run, the Wildcats combined for a 13-2 of their own before halftime. Kentucky outscored LSU in the second quarter 18-13 to move within six of the Tigers. 

LSU regained its double figure lead two minutes into the third. Kentucky would not go away easy as Jenkins kept the Wildcats in it with buckets on back-to-back possessions. Johnson went coast-to-coast as her steal on defense led to her 9th point of the quarter on the other end. After the media timeout, both squads traded buckets as Kentucky looked to chip away at the LSU lead. The Tigers ended the quarter with a 60-45 advantage ahead of the fourth. 

The Tigers traded buckets to start the quarter as both teams scored 4 in the first two minutes. Following the stalemate both teams went without points for over two minutes before Tyler earned Kentucky’s fifth three-pointer of the day. Following the triple LSU went on a 13-0 run that saw the Tiger’s first three-pointer of the day. The Tigers cruised to a season ending 21-point win over Kentucky.

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