BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The reigning national champion LSU women’s basketball team returned to action on Thursday night in the PMAC with a 99-26 win over East Texas Baptist.
LSU introduced five of its six newcomers in the starting lineup. Transfers Hailey Van Lith and Annesah Morrow were joined by freshmen Mikaylah Williams, Janae Kent, and Aaliyah Del Rosario.
Both Van Lith and Morrow earned honorable mention honors on the AP All-American team.
A no-look outlet pass from Van Lith to Del Rosario capped off an 11-0 run to start the game and force an ETBU timeout. The visitors scored five after the break before LSU’s defense forced a four minute scoring drought. The Tigers ended the first quarter on a 12-0 run to take a 26-5 lead.
LSU went with a fresh five to start the second quarter led by preseason AP All-American Angel Reese. Resse was joined by second team All-SEC selection Flau’jae Johnson. Returners Kateri Poole, Last-Tear Poa, and Sa’Myah Smith rounded out the five.
An ETBU timeout paused an 8-0 run led by Reese and Johnson each scoring four near the halfway mark of the second quarter. LSU scored five points off of seven ETBU turnovers through the opening five minutes of the second quarter.
After the timeout, Johnson went on to add five unanswered points to extend the LSU lead to 35. Johnson led the Tigers on a 20-0 run to finish the half with 14 points on 6-8 from the field and four steals in the second quarter.
LSU headed into the break with a 51-9 lead over the visiting Tigers. LSU shot 51% from the field through the opening 20 minutes, compared to ETBU’s 14%. LSU forced 17 turnovers and out rebounded ETBU 32-17.
Van Lith kicked off the second half with her first three-pointer as an LSU Tiger to extend the lead to 50. After a 4-0 run by ETBU Reese scored on a jumper and made two free throws to move her point total to 15. LSU entered the final quarter with a 70-19 lead.
Smith started the fourth quarter with a blocked ETBU jumper and finished the play on the other end with an and-one to bring the LSU total to 73. Kent reached double figures with an impressive reverse layup to extend the LSU run to 13. LSU’s late 18-0 run was cut with a three from ETBU’s Sara Cowan.
Smith earned a double-double with under 30 seconds to go as an and-one with a made free throw pushed her total to 16 and 12. LSU ended the game on a 24-5 run in the final seven minutes to finish with a final score of 99-26.
LSU ended the night on 36 of 72 from the field to finish at an even 50% compared to ETBU’s 19% on 10 of 53. LSU found itself at the foul line often and succeeded on 23 of 33 attempts. LSU forced 39 ETBU turnovers and scored 34 points off turnovers. ETBU was outrebounded 51-34 and gave up 54 points in the paint.
LSU will have one more dress rehearsal against Loyola (NO) next Thursday before opening the season against Colorado on Nov. 6 at the Hall of Fame Series in Las Vegas. LSU’s first home game will be on Nov. 9 against Queens (NC). Prior to that game, set to tipoff at 7 p.m. CT, LSU will receive its national championship rings and raise the national championship banner in the PMAC. Doors for that game will open at 5:30 and the ceremony will begin at 6:20.
(Summary via LSU Athletics)