LSU women dismantle Georgia to clinch second-place finish in SEC regular season

LSU women dismantle Georgia to clinch second-place finish in SEC regular season
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The LSU women’s basketball team hit the road Thursday and dispatched Georgia 80-54, clinching a second-place finish in the Southeastern Conference standings.

The No. 9 Tigers attacked the middle of Georgia’s matchup zone for most of their scoring. They assisted 17 of their 32 field goal makes, scored nearly half of their points in the paint and secured 17 offensive rebounds, which they used to score 23 second-chance points.

All five LSU starters scored in double figures. Hailey Van Lith scored a team-high 18 points. Aneesah Morrow scored 16 — to pair with 10 rebounds, four steals and two blocks. And Angel Reese added 17 and 15 rebounds on 8 of 15 shooting.

Georgia, after sinking six of their first 13 shots, hung with LSU (25-4, 12-3 SEC) for most of the first quarter. But in the second, the Bulldogs (12-16, 3-12) fell behind quickly – after shooting just 29% from the field, committing eight turnovers and falling victim to the Tigers’ ball movement and transition offense, which catapulted them to a 22-point halftime lead.

Across the final three minutes of the third quarter, Georgia threatened with a 14-0 run. But LSU re-built its lead, which climbed as high as 32, back up to 25 by the halfway point of the fourth quarter.

LSU first separated from Georgia after starting the second quarter with an 11-2 run.

First, Flau’jae Johnson banked in a driving layup, then grabbed an offensive rebound and scored a putback floater. As part of the run, Reese mixed in a couple buckets, one after corralling an entry pass, spinning and flipping a shot over the rim, and another after turning around, stepping back and lofting in a jumper.

By the 4:56 mark of the second, when Hailey Van Lith canned a 3-pointer from the right corner off a dish from Morrow, LSU had a 35-19 lead. Georgia turned the ball over on five of its nine possessions as LSU built its run.

In the first half, Morrow forced two of those turnovers. The Tigers fed her the ball in the midrange early in the first quarter to beat the Georgia zone. She either scored or assisted on LSU’s first 10 points, after nailing three mid-range jumpers, converting a fast-break layup and firing a high-low pass to Reese.

Reese, after turning her right ankle at the end of the first quarter, punished smaller Georgia defenders around the rim and on the glass. In the second quarter, as the Tigers built their run, Reese led the way with eight points on 4 of 5 shooting and four rebounds.

The LSU bench didn’t notch its first points until the 2:29 mark of the fourth. But Johnson and Mikaylah Williams combined to score 30 points on 50% shooting.

Georgia shot just 36% from the field, becoming the seventh straight LSU opponent to convert less than 40% of its field goal attempts. The Bulldogs finished with 30 fewer paint points and 18 fewer second-chance points than LSU.

Georgia guard Asia Avenger scored 10 points on 4 of 5 shooting in the first quarter, but LSU held her scoreless across the final three. Instead, forward Javyn Nicholson led the Bulldogs in scoring with 17 points.

Next, the Tigers will return home to close out their regular season against Kentucky on Sunday at 1 p.m. The team will honor Angel Reese and Hailey Van Lith for Senior Day.

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About Marc Lemoine 1446 Articles
Marc is an Economist and a well experienced weightlifter who has won many championships. He intends to build a bright career in the media industry as well. He is a sports freak who loves to cover the latest news on sports, finance and economy.

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