BATON ROUGE – The LSU Women’s Basketball team (3-1) handed Tulane (4-1) its first loss of the season Tuesday night in the PMAC as the Tigers defeated the Green Wave by a score of 75-58.
Center Faustine Aifuwa played big for the Tigers with a team-high 17 points, eight rebounds and three blocks. In addition to Aifuwa, four other Tigers finished the night with double figures; Khayla Pointer (14), Alexis Morris (12), Autumn Newby (11) and Jailin Cherry (10). Newby was one rebound away from a double-double, leading LSU with nine.
“If we are going to score that many people in double-figures every night, we’re going to compete,” said Head Coach Kim Mulkey. “The five right there, what do they have? They have experience. They have experience and there’s no substitute for that.”
Tuesday was the fourth straight game this year in which the Tigers put up 70+ points.
Tulane came into the game undefeated already with a road win over an SEC opponent in Alabama.
Moon Ursin, the graduate transfer who played for Coach Mulkey at Baylor, had 13 points and 10 rebounds to finish with a double-double for Tulane. Dynah Jones had a game-high 18 points for the Green Wave.
Next up, the Tigers are set to travel to Puerto Rico for the San Juan Shootout over Thanksgiving. LSU will play in the Coliseo Roberto Clemente on Friday at 1:30 p.m. CT against New Mexico State and on Saturday at 11:15 a.m. against Missouri State. Both of the games will be available to be streamed on Flohoops.
After the teams remained close through the first five minutes in the first quarter, the Tigers began to separate themselves. LSU used a 10-2 run late in the opening quarter to extend its lead to 10 before the Green Wave scored the final four points of the quarter. After one, LSU led, 18-12. Pointer led the Tigers with 6 points in the opening quarter.
The Green Wave began the second quarter with two quick baskets to cut the lead to three. After a layup by Aifuwa, Cherry hit back-to-back mid-range jumpers and then Pointer nailed a three in transition after a dish from Morris, giving the Tigers a 9-0 run and forcing Tulane to take a timeout with LSU holding a 10-point lead. Out of the timeout, LSU got a stop and Pointer was able to score a layup on a designed give-and-go handoff play. On the next defensive possession, Newby intercepted a pass, got fouled on the fast break layup attempt, and sank both free throws. The Tigers then forced a shot clock violation and Gusters was able to go to work in the post to give LSU a 15-0 run.
With a 33-17 lead, LSU’s run ended when Tulane’s Krystal Freeman sunk a pair of free throws. Cherry responded with her third mid-range shot of the quarter in as many tries. Cherry made her fourth bucket of the quarter as time expired in the half to give LSU a 41-24 lead at the break. The Tigers’ tenacious defense limited Tulane to just 25-percent shooting in the second quarter as the Green Wave only made two of their final 11 shots in the quarter.
Tulane came out of the locker room for the third quarter attacking and the Tigers were forced to weather a bit of the storm. Tulane had cut into LSU’s lead that was 17 at the half down to nine when Newby lobbed a pass from the top of the key to Aifuwa who finished it in the paint and got fouled going into a media timeout. Despite missing the free throw out of the timeout, the play gave LSU some momentum back and stymied any major Tulane run. On LSU’s next offensive possession Aifuwa cleaned up the offensive glass, went back up, made the basket and got fouled, this time finishing the and-one. With the momentum back, LSU’s defense held Tulane without a basket the final 3:38 of the quarter.
The Green Wave used a full-court zone press to cause havoc and had some success early in the fourth quarter, forcing two turnovers and increasing the pace of the game. Tulane worked hard to try to have a major fourth-quarter comeback, but LSU was able to ultimately extend its lead and finish with a 17-point victory to hand Tulane its first loss of the season.
(LSU Media Press Release)