BATON ROUGE — The LSU women’s basketball team fell to Georgia in the PMAC on Sunday afternoon, 73-56. With the loss, the Tigers are now 18-8 on the season and 8-6 in the SEC. The Bulldogs improve to 15-12 and 6-8 in the SEC.
Junior Awa Trasi led the team with 13 points, while redshirt junior Faustine Aifuwa scored 12 points and had a team-leading six rebounds. Senior Jaelyn Richard-Harris also scored double-digits with 10 points and was 4-of-6 from the field and junior Khayla Pointer contributed seven points and six assists.
HOW IT HAPPENED
· LSU celebrated its four seniors during pregame ceremonies and all four players started, including Ayana Mitchell. Georgia agreed to a plan to give Mitchell one more start on the PMAC floor as LSU took the tip, got the ball to Mitchell who held it for a 10-second back court violation to give Georgia the ball. Mitchell left the court to a standing ovation.
· Georgia got the scoring started with a three-pointer, which was quickly answered with a two-pointer from Aifuwa.
· Georgia continued their hot start with a 5-0 run making the Tigers call their first timeout with 7:48 left in the first quarter as Georgia led 8-2.
· Georgia went on a 6-0 run out of the break, but Pointer and senior Mercedes Brooks responded with a pair of baskets, which brought the score to 14-8.
· For the remainder of the first quarter, the Tigers tried to close the gap, but the Lady Bulldogs widened it to a score of 20-10.
· Junior Jailin Cherry began the second quarter with a jumper to push the score to 20-12.
· LSU continued to try and close the gap as redshirt junior Rakell Spencer made a free throw, followed by an Aifuwa jumper making the score, 25-17.
· After the second quarter media timeout, LSU went on 8-3 run anchored by a Faustine Aifuwa layup making the score 28-23 with 2:12 remaining in the second quarter.
· The Bulldogs led 34-27 at the half.
· Georgia began the second-half scoring with two free throws. Faustine Aifuwa responded with two free throws of her own making the score 36-29.
· Georgia increased its lead to 42-31, but Jailin Cherry banked one in at the 5:55 mark to make it 42-33.
· The Lady Bulldogs went on a 10-0 run, but Richard-Harris responded with a three to make the score, 54-40.
· Trasi brought the third quarter to a close with a three, bringing the score to 56-43.
· Richard-Harris splashed home a three-pointer to begin the fourth quarter to make the score 56-46.
· Georgia led 64-53 at the fourth quarter media timeout.
· Pointer laid a basket in at the 3:07 mark to make it a 69-56 ballgame.
· Georgia finished the game on a 9-3 run with a 73-56 score.
The Tigers will host Vanderbilt inside the PMAC on Thursday, February 27. The game is slated for a 6:30 p.m. start and will be streamed on SEC Network Plus. Live stats will be available.
Head Coach Nikki Fargas’ Post-Game Quotes
On Georgia’s fast start and playing from behind…
“You know, the thing about this game is you want to get your team prepared for the next opponent and I told our team this. Yes, we’ve got to get prepared for Georgia, but our biggest opponent is going to be ourselves. We dug this hole at the very beginning of the first quarter. I said this to them: ‘You’ve got to respect the game, and there’s players that are going to make shots when they’re wide open.’ I thought in the first quarter those wide-open threes that we gave. One was, we go under screen, we told them, ‘She’s going to knock down the three.’ You got a kid that we know can shoot threes, which is (Gabby) Connally. That’s part of her game and she gets half of those threes in the first quarter. I think this group has got to say, ‘Hey, we’re coming down the stretch here, and we can’t be complacent. We have got to feel a different sense of urgency, and we are playing this game too passively.’ We go to South Carolina; we put together a good defensive effort where we hold a team like South Carolina to 20 points off of their average. That to me is a good defensive effort. Our offense now struggled, but it’s not that we didn’t have the possessions. Then, we come here, we give a team plus-10 than what they average. That’s two different defensive mindsets. That’s two different teams. It’s the same players because my roster hasn’t changed, but it’s the mindset that changed. That’s the part that we’ve got to channel back to having that defensive mindset. On the other side of it, offensively, we’re getting just as many or sometimes more possessions than our opponent.”
On the technicals affected the momentum of the game…
“I think there’s plays that are momentum plays, and there’s a lot of them throughout the course of the game where we might turn the ball over, or somebody might hit a three. Those are momentum plays. You can’t game plan for what happened because that’s a six-point swing. Faustine Aifuwa gets a foul; we take her out. It’s a lot of moving parts to that.”
(Press Release Provided by LSU Athletics)