The LSU women’s basketball team hit the road for the first time this season as they made their way to Arkansas’ state capital to take on the Little Rock Trojans. The Tigers grabbed the lead early on and never let up, winning by a final score of 65-50. With the win, LSU improves to 2-1 and Little Rock falls to 0-3.
Right from the tip, Khayla Pointer had the hot hand and left her mark on this game. The junior lead all scorers with 22 points. This was the second straight game Pointer finished with 22 points as she did so against No. 12 Florida State. She went 5-5 from the free throw line and also had six assists and three rebounds.
Although LSU held the lead the whole first half, they were not able to truly break it open until the 2:38 mark when the Tigers went on a 7-1 run to close out the half. Faustine Aifuwa got the run started with a 10-foot turnaround jumper followed by back-to-back buckets by Pointer off of two Little Rock turnovers. Jailin Cherry hit a contested layup with 12 seconds left to close the run and give the Tigers a 15-point halftime lead.
Little Rock came out of the halftime break hot – starting the second half on a 6-0 run on back-to-back three balls. The Tigers then kicked it into gear on the defensive side of the ball by forcing two shot clock violations. With the score at 38-29, the Tigers then pushed the lead to double-digits where it would remain for the remainder of the game. A 12-4 run to end the third quarter gave the Tigers a 50-33 lead heading into the fourth and final quarter.
The Tigers did not slow down in the fourth quarter, scoring 15 points to ice the game, and earn their second win of the young season.
Along with Pointer’s 22 points, Faustine Aifuwa also finished the game in double figures with 12 points. Aifuwa led the Tigers in rebounds with seven. The Tigers outrebounded the Trojans 30-26 and won the battle in the paint 38-12. LSU also forced 19 Little Rock turnovers and had 26 points off of those turnovers to Little Rock’s 11 of Tiger turnovers.
The win also served as the 150th career win at LSU for head coach Nikki Fargas. Fargas is currently the second winningest coach in LSU history, behind legendary coach Sue Gunter who tallied a remarkable 442 wins over 22 seasons leading the Tigers.
LSU Head Coach Nikki Fargas
On Khayla Pointer being eager and confident with the ball…
“She’s done a nice job of being that aggressive ball handler. She puts a lot of pressure on teams at the rim with her dribble drive. She’s so elusive and just knows how to make big plays at the right time. She’s also showing she can pull up and shoot the pullup jumper. She has expanded her game and we are so glad that she’s taking on this scoring role as a point guard.”
On an unusual game from Ayana Mitchel due to foul trouble…
“Ayana Mitchell is one of those players that even though her stat line didn’t show it, just her presence on the floor gives us confidence. So many times, she makes up for some of our defensive mistakes through her hustle and knowing how we play our match ups. I like Ayana Mitchell and Faustine Aifuwa’s play. We are trying to get them more shots but they are converting at a high percentage for us right now.”
On having good depth from the bench…
“I’m glad I was able to go into my bench early in the game. They will get better through experience. This is a game we were able to do that. We obviously have many more games to play and I have to get them ready for that.”
(Press Release Provided by LSU Athletics)