Another game, another overpowered opponent, another 70+ win rate.
All five starters scored double digits as LSU improved to 2-0 with a 111-41 win over Mississippi Valley State on Friday at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
Alexis Morris led with 18 points and added seven assists, including six in the first half. LaDazhia Williams had 17 points in 8-of-9 shooting, and Angel Reese had her second double-double with 16 points and 15 rebounds, plus four steals. Jasmine Carson and Flau’jae Johnson each had 12 points.
Sa’Myah Smith had another strong performance off the bench with seven points and 10 rebounds.
“It was a game where I was glad the other team played zone,” said LSU coach Kim Mulkey. “We have to play against teams that play zones and I thought we would do better attacking the zones later. We were confused whether they were in a 3-2 or 2-3 and didn’t have the people in the right positions.
LSU was aggressive again with 17 steals resulting in 25 MVSU turnovers. The visitors (0-2) shot 24.2% (15 of 62) and were 2 of 19 with 3-point shots.
“In the second, third and fourth quarters, we did a better job of moving the ball, attacking the zone and finding open people,” Carson said. “It’s still a work in progress. A lot of teams can zone us for our posts so it was a good night to work on what we needed to work on.”
Williams got LSU started with 13 points in the first half as MVSU focused on Reese. Williams, a transfer from Missouri, scored several goals, including a coast-to-coast layup after a steal. She also added a tip-in after her own missed free throw.
“I just make sure I’m moving off the ball and making myself available to my teammates,” said Williams, who added five rebounds.
Mulkey said, “Angel and LaDazhia are both good players and complement each other well. I’m so proud of their improvement. They will be a great tandem for us in the SEC game.”
Morris led 59-17 at halftime and had LSU on fire in the second half. He scored eight points during an 18-2 run that increased the lead to 58 points. She hit 8 of 12 shots and only had one turnover.
Kyriana Jones led MVSU with 11 points and Elisa Saffold added nine.
Mulkey said there were a few defensive breakdowns that led to off-set offensive layups, and on at least two occasions LSU failed to get back on defense.
“We need to work on that,” Mulkey said. “When I changed all five (starters) in the fourth quarter, what was the first thing they did? They gave up a transitional break. I still have to teach. I don’t look at the scoreboard.”
Next, LSU plays Western Carolina at PMAC on Sunday at 3:00 p.m.
Goods in the transfer portal
LSU sophomore guard Timia Ware entered the transfer portal on Thursday after playing just over five minutes in the opener against Bellarmine.
“I’m madly in love with her; she just wants to play,” Mulkey said. “You never blame a kid when they say they want to play. She doesn’t bitch or ask for minutes because they know they have those.” You won’t get any answers. She’ll finish the semester here and make visits.
“She’s a good kid. Smart and gets good grades.”