BIMINI, Bahamas – LSU’s women’s basketball performance kicked off Thursday as the Tigers No. 12 (6-0) knocked out George Mason (3-4), 80-52 in the Goombay Splash’s first game in The Bimini, Bahamas .
Angel Reese led the Tigers with 21 points and 19 bounces as she clinched her sixth straight double to kick-start her LSU career. She has had at least 15 rebounds in each of her past five games and has scored 19 times in two consecutive games. Freshman striker Sa’Myah Smith came on from the bench and had a career-high 14 points and forward LaDazia Williams scored 13 as LSU posts dominated.
LSU coach Kim Mulkey said: “We wanted to get the ball in early and we did. “I had to go back to the movie and ask if we didn’t get the ball there in the second half.”
Alexis Morris finished with 13 points and freshman Flau’jae Johnson got 10 as she’s still scoring doubles in every game of her college career so far.
LSU’s record of consecutive games ended on Thursday at five games as the Tigers failed to reach the century mark. At least one NCAA DI team had a six-game 100-point streak in a row, and it was the 1981-82 Louisiana Tech team that Mulkey was a player on.
The Patriots were led by Sonia Smith with 15 and Taylor Jameson with 11. Thirty of George Mason’s 66 scoring attempts came from behind the arc, but the Patriots only shot 20% from downtown. .
LSU showed its talent in the first half, taking the lead quickly and explosively. But George Mason responded in the second half, scoring 33 points in the final two innings.
“We were forced to miss a lot of shots (in the first half). “We gave them a chance in the first half and we got out and ran. We didn’t do that in the second half and their defence wasn’t changed either.
The Tigers started the game 8-0 early and half of those points came from the free-throw line as Reese and Johnson both started 2-2. In the first five minutes of the match, Reese scored 6 points and 6 rebounds, looking for her sixth straight double. Reese finished the half with 10 points and 8 bounces as the Tigers finished the half with a 27-9 lead.
Just four minutes into the second inning, Reese got his tenth recovery and won his sixth double in six games as Tiger. LSU ended the half 10-1 to give the Tigers a 29 lead before half-time, 48-19. Morris scored 10 goals in the first half.
In the first two quarters, the Tigers shot 65.5% from the field and held the Patriots to 24.2%. LSU scored 32 of its points and added 10 more. The Tigers dominated the game on both sides as they forced the Patriot assault team to make outer shots at the end of the fire meter. George Mason took a 2-16 lead from three in the first half and scored just 10 points in the game.
After a slow start to the third quarter, LSU extended its lead to 34 points. Both teams found themselves at the line as there were a total of 11 individual fouls made in the third inning. George Mason won 4-4 and LSU won 7-8. LSU gave up 18 in the third inning and entered the final with a 71-37 lead.
George Mason refused to leave quietly as the Patriots fought hard in the fourth half, making it difficult for the Tigers to score and relentlessly recover on both sides of the ball. LSU held its ground firmly in its sixth straight win out of the gate.
“The fatigue begins,” Coach Mulkey explained. “We have to get into better form. We didn’t defend well in the second half and didn’t recover strongly and I think George Mason just had a little bit of a tough time with them in the fourth half.”
With the win, LSU will play UAB on Saturday at 1pm CT. That game will also stream on FloHoops. UAB and George Mason will play on Friday afternoon.