GAINESVILLE. Fla. – No. 5 LSU (24-1, 12-1 SEC) will be in Gainesville on Sunday to face Florida at 1 p.m. CT on the SEC Network in Exactech Arena as the Tigers go for their 25th win of the regular season.
Sam Gore and Aja Ellison will be on the SEC Network call and fans can tune into Patrick Wright and Jeff Palermo on the LSU Sports Radio Network, 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge.
With three games remaining before the SEC Tournament in Greenville, South Carolina, LSU can finish tied for the best regular season record in program history (LSU went 27-1 during the 2004-05 regular season). Following their game on Sunday, LSU will be at Vanderbilt on Thursday before returning home for the regular season finale next Sunday against Mississippi State. The Tigers also control their destiny in being able to finish No. 2 in the SEC for the second year in a row.
“Everybody’s tired and you’ve got to fight through it because you’ll get your second wind here when you head into March, I promise you – I’ve been through this too many times,” explained Coach Kim Mulkey who earned her 50th win at LSU Thursday against Ole Miss. “It’s going to be the same way at Florida. We went there last year; didn’t we get beat there?”
After the Tiger dropped a game for the first time this year at No. 1 South Carolina last Sunday, LSU bounced back at home on Thursday with a 69-60 win over Ole Miss. Angel Reese responded well after being held without a double-double for the first time this season in Columbia. She took the game over, scoring a career-high 36 points and hauling in 20 rebounds to ensure the Tigers victory. Alexis Morris added 15 points. Both Morris and Reese played all 40 minutes.
“I know last game I didn’t help my team win and mentally it was tough on me for the past two days,” Reese said. “I knew coming out here tonight my team needed me, and it was just about how I was going to respond. I think I responded well.”
Reese now has four games this season with at least 20 points and 20 rebounds. Thursday marked her first game with 30+ (and 35+) points and 20+ rebounds. It marked just the 11th game where an LSU player had 30 and 20 and it was the seventh time a player had 35 and 20.
Her 36 points were the most by a LSU player since Cornelia Gayden scored 49 against Jackson State in 2015.
As the Tigers travel to Gainesville, they will face a team that has struggled to string many wins together since SEC play began as the Gators have lost four in a row. Their only wins in conference play have come against the league’s bottom two teams: twice against Texas A&M and against Vanderbilt.
Like LSU, Florida lost a lot of production from its team last season. The Gators took LSU down during the first time they played last year in Gainesville. Later in the season with sole possession of second place in the SEC up for grabs, LSU returned the favor and handled Florida in the PMAC.
The Gators have three players who score in double figures, led by KK Deans (13.5 ppg) who is a transfer from West Virginia. Senior vet Nina Rickards is right behind her at 12.2 ppg and then Leilani Correa scores 11.7 ppg who is in her first year at Florida from St. John’s.
Florida ranks No. 13 in the conference giving up 68.3 points per game and the Gators rank No. 12 with a .398 field goal percentage. They do excel at shooting the three ball, ranking No. 5 in the conference with 5.8 made threes each game.
(Press release provided by LSU Athletics)