LSU women’s basketball fans will recall the Gamecocks bludgeoning the Tigers in South Carolina a year ago. Kim Mulkey’s team was dominated in the paint and unable to match the physical play led by former Gamecocks superstar Aaliyah Boston.
Things have changed dramatically in a year.
With freshman Aliyah Del Rosario filling the low post, LSU gave Dawn Staley’s unbeaten squad their most challenging game of the season.
Junior guard Aneesa Williams led the Tigers in scoring with 16 points and grabbed ten rebounds. Junior forward Angel Reese was next with 15 points and eight rebounds.
LSU started the game strong and wrapped up the first quarter with a 24-18 lead. They maintained the lead throughout the second and third quarters. However, Dawn Staley’s squad stormed back.
With Boston looking on from the crowd, South Carolina gained a 63-61 lead early in the fourth quarter. However, Hailey Van Lith would have none of it. Each time South Carolina pulled to a lead, the graduate transfer guard answered from mid- and long-range.
Unfortunately, with the game tied 70-70, South Carolina’s Bree Hall drained a three-point shot that definitively pulled momentum back to the visitor’s sideline with less than 90 seconds remaining. LSU missed an attempt to knot the score. Raven Johnson widened the lead to five points with a clutch drive through the lane.
Again, LSU failed to convert a three-point attempt, allowing the Gamecocks to steal the 76-70 win.
Thursday’s loss undoubtedly disappoints the LSU women’s basketball team and their fans. However, after dominating the country’s best lineup for most of the contest, the Tigers have much to hang their hats on.
Mulkey’s squad showed a grit on the floor that was missing before Thursday night. I also think that the loss will put a giant chip on LSU’s collective shoulder. We must expect the Tigers to build off their performance and continue their SEC slate with much to prove.
I tip my cap to the LSU fans who packed the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Clad in white, the Tigers faithful were buzzing from the game’s first tip, providing an incredible atmosphere for all four quarters.
The LSU women’s basketball team will return to the floor Monday night for a game against Mississippi State in Starkville.