BATON ROUGE – The LSU women’s basketball team heads back out on the road for one more game before a three-game homestand in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center at the start of February. The Tigers will face Florida in Gainesville on Thursday, January 30 at 5 p.m. CT.
LSU is 14-5 overall and 4-3 in SEC play, while the Gators are 11-9 overall and 2-5 in conference action. The game marks the halfway point of conference action in 2020.
LSU has three wins against Top 15 opponents this season, beating then-No. 15 Michigan State, 58-56 on November 29, then-No. 10 Texas A&M, 57-54 on January 9 and then-No. 11 Kentucky, 65-59 on January 19.
Thursday’s game will be broadcast on the SEC Network Plus and is available on the ESPN app with Courtney Lyle and Carolyn Peck calling the action. Fans can also listen to Patrick Wright call the game on the LSU Sports Radio Network. Wright is in his 30th season as the “Voice of the Lady Tigers” and is joined on home broadcasts by Jeff Palermo. Fans can listen on 107.3 FM and audio broadcasts are available online at LSUSports.net/live. Live stats will be available at LSUsports.net.
LSU, currently receiving votes in the Associated Press and USA Today/WBCA Coaches Polls, came up short at then-No. 23 Tennessee on Sunday, 63-58, in its third consecutive game against a Top 25 team. Redshirt senior Ayana Mitchell earned the 36th double-double of her career and her ninth this season with a season-high 24 points and 12 rebounds. Junior Awa Trasi came off the bench to kick in eight points and grab five rebounds.
Mitchell continues to be strong shooting from the field. Her overall percentage ranks first in the nation at 71.1 percent. The NCAA single season field goal percentage record is 72.4 percent by Myndee Kay Larsen of Southern Utah in 1997-98.
Mitchell made a quick trip home on January 24 to be inducted into the Salem High School Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2020. The previous Friday, Mitchell was named a Top 30 candidate for the 2019-20 Senior CLASS Award, the only player in the SEC on the list.
Mitchell is on track to become only the fourth LSU player to reach the 1,000 points-1,000 rebounds career marks – currently at 1,271 points and 899 rebounds. She is currently 22nd on the LSU all-time scoring list and needs 23 points to pass Theresa Plaisance (2010-14; 1,293) in 21st place. Mitchell leading the team by averaging 14.9 points and 9.2 rebounds per game.
Junior Khayla Pointer leads the squad from the point with 14.5 points and 4.5 assists per game. She has the best free throw shooting percentage on the squad at 71.4 and the most steals with 47.
Redshirt junior Faustine Aifuwa is having a solid season in the paint for LSU. Aifuwa is third on the team with 9.5 points per game. She is sporting a 49.4 field goal percentage to go along with 7.4 rebounds per game and 29 blocked shots.
LSU continues its solid play on defense, having held opponents to 50 points or under five times and 13 opponents at 60 or under so far this season and winning the battle of the boards in 16 games played. The Tigers are 12th in the nation in free throw attempts with 431 and 37th in the nation in scoring defense, only giving up 57.4 points per game.
Bench play continues to be a strength as the season has progressed. The LSU bench has outscored opponents 365-269 over the first 19 games of the season.
LSU head coach Nikki Fargas is in her ninth season at LSU (162-111) and 12th overall (234-137). In 26 seasons as a student-athlete, graduate assistant and collegiate coach, Fargas is 638-213.
The Opponent – Florida
Florida is tied for ninth place in the SEC going into Thursday’s game. The Gators are led by three players scoring in double figures. Freshman guard Lavender Briggs leads the way at 13.8 points per game, followed by redshirt junior guard Kiana Smith at 12.8 points per game and redshirt senior forward Zada Williams at 10.2 points per game. Williams leads the team with 7.2 rebounds per game and Smith tops the assists list with 62.
Head coach Cam Newbauer is in his third season at Florida and seventh overall as a head coach (Belmont, 2013-17).
LSU holds the lead in the series, 29-14.
The Tigers return to the PMAC for a three-game homestand to start the month of February with Texas A&M on the 2nd, Missouri on the 10th and Tennessee on the 13th, all return games. LSU will be looking to sweep the Aggies on Sunday for the first time in a season since Texas A&M joined the league in 2012-13.
(Press Release Provided by LSU Athletics)