LSU Women’s Hoops Host No. 11 Kentucky in “We Back Pat” Game

Geaux Nation

BATON ROUGE – LSU will tipoff the ninth annual SEC “We Back Pat Week” on Sunday, January 19, as the women’s basketball team host No. 11 Kentucky at 1 p.m. CT in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. This is a week-long initiative focused on bringing awareness and recognition to the Pat Summitt Foundation and its fight against Alzheimer’s disease.

SEC women’s basketball teams will support The Pat Summitt Foundation during their home games from January 19-26. The mission of the Foundation is to award grants to non-profit organizations that advance research for treatment and a cure, provide care and support for patients and caregivers, and educate the public about Alzheimer’s disease. LSU will play in two We Back Pat games this season, serving as the visitor at Tennessee on Sunday, January 26. For more about the Pat Summitt Foundation and its mission, go to http://www.patsummitt.org/.

LSU is 13-4 overall and 3-2 in SEC play, while the No. 11 Wildcats are 15-2 overall and 4-1 in conference action. This is the second of three consecutive games for LSU against Top 25 opponents. The Tigers lost a comeback bid, 64-60 against No. 10 Mississippi State on January 16 and head out to No. 24 Tennessee on Sunday, January 26. LSU has two wins against Top 15 opponents this season, beating then-No. 15 Michigan State, 58-56 on November 29, and then-No. 10 Texas A&M, 57-54 on January 9.

The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network and is available on the ESPN app with Tiffany Greene and Mike Thibault calling the action. Fans can also listen to Patrick Wright call the game on the LSU Sports Radio Network. Wright is in his 30th season as the “Voice of the Lady Tigers” and is joined on home broadcasts by Jeff Palermo. Fans can listen on 107.3 FM and audio broadcasts are available online at LSUSports.net/live. Live stats will be available at LSUsports.net.

LSU Update

LSU will be going for its seventh consecutive home win on Sunday afternoon against Kentucky. Redshirt senior Ayana Mitchell recorded her eighth double-double of the season with 22 points and 12 rebounds against Mississippi State on Thursday. It was also the third game in a row and seventh of the season that she shot 80 percent or better from the field. Redshirt junior Faustine Aifuwa posted her first double-double of the season with 10 points and 12 rebounds against the Bulldogs.

Mitchell continues to be strong shooting from the field. Her overall percentage ranks first in the nation at 72.1 percent. The NCAA single season field goal percentage record is 72.4 percent by Myndee Kay Larsen of Southern Utah in 1997-98.

Mitchell had an amazing December that saw her shoot 89.2 percent over LSU’s four games in the last month of the year.  She was 33-of-37, including a stretch of 19 consecutive field goals made to start the month. The consecutive makes streak started in November and extend out to 21 consecutive field goals made.

The streak of 21 is believed to be the most by a Tiger player in the history of the program with research on-going. The NCAA record is 33, set by Ruthy Hebard of Oregon from February 9-19, 2018 against 4 opponents. Other LSU players with double-digit makes streaks include Seimone Augustus in 2004 and Sylvia Fowles in 2007.

Mitchell is on track to become only the fourth LSU player to reach the 1,000 points-1,000 rebounds career marks – currently at 1,232 points and 881 rebounds. She has 35 double-doubles over her career and is currently 22nd on the LSU all-time scoring list. She is averaging 14.4 points and 9.2 rebounds per game.

On Friday, Mitchell was named a Top 30 candidate for the 2019-20 Senior CLASS Award, the only player in the SEC on the list.

Junior Khayla Pointer leads the squad from the point with 14.8 points and 4.5 assists per game. She also has the best free throw shooting percentage on the squad at 73.5 and the most steals with 42.

Aifuwa is having a solid season in the paint for LSU. Aifuwa is third on the team with 9.8 points per game. She is sporting a 51.7 field goal percentage to go along with 7.2 rebounds per game and 23 blocked shots.

LSU continues its solid play on defense, having held opponents to 50 points or under five times and 12 opponents at 60 or under so far this season and winning the battle of the boards in 14 games played. The Tigers are 12th in the nation in free throw attempts with 373 and 40th in the nation in field goal percentage at 44.7 percent.

Bench play continues to be a strength as the season has progressed. The LSU bench has outscored opponents 331-249 over the first 17 games of the season.

LSU head coach Nikki Fargas is in her ninth season at LSU (161-110) and 12th overall (233-136). In 26 seasons as a student-athlete, graduate assistant and collegiate coach, Fargas is 637-212.

The Opponent – No. 11 Kentucky

Kentucky is currently tied for third place in the SEC following Thursday night’s 76-54 win over Texas A&M in Lexington. Sophomore Rhyne Howard is averaging 23.8 points per game overall and 30.8 per game in SEC play.

Head coach Matthew Mitchell is in his 13th season at Kentucky, the second head coaching stop of his career (Morehead State (2005-07). Mitchell was a graduate assistant on former Tennessee head coach Pat Summitt’s staff in the 1999-2000 season.

LSU holds the lead in the series, 33-17.

LSU Milestones List

* Ayana Mitchell

                – 7th – Career Rebounds – 881 (6th – 894, Cornelia Gayden, 1991-95)

                – 22nd – Career Points – 1,232 (21st – 1,293, Theresa Plaisance, 2010-14)

                – Potential to join elite class of Maree Jackson, Julie Gross and Sylvia Fowles as only LSU players with 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds

* Khayla Pointer

                – 18th – Career Assists – 274 (16th (tie) – 276, Miriam Farr, 1990-94 & Seimone Augustus, 2002-06)

                – Hit the 700 career point mark – at Missouri (Jan. 5)

                – Hit the 100 career steal mark – at Oklahoma (Dec. 7)

* Faustine Aifuwa

                – 6th – Career Blocks – 111 (5th – 138, Shanece McKinney, 2010-14)

                – Hit the 500 career point mark – vs. Rutgers (Nov. 24); Needs 10 points to hit 600

                – Grabbed 400th of her career – vs. Florida A&M (Dec. 19)

Up Next

LSU will close out January on the road at No. 24 Tennessee on Sunday, January 26 and at Florida on Thursday, January 30.  The game at Tennessee will be the Lady Vols’ We Back Pat Game with game time is set for Noon CT on the SEC Network.

The Tigers return home for a three-game homestand to start the month of February with Texas A&M on the 2nd, Missouri on the 10th and Tennessee on the 13th.

(Press Release Provided by LSU Athletics)

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