Full Video: Kim Mulkey Media Conference Previewing LSU’s Rematch with Auburn

LSU women's basketball coach Kim Mulkey wants better defensive effort from her No. 9 team hosting Florida on Sunday. PHOTO BY: Jonathan Mailhes

LSU head women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey spoke with the media on Wednesday where she recapped her Tigers win over Texas A&M and previewed the Tigers upcoming home game Thursday evening with Auburn.

No. 13 LSU (22-4, 9-3 SEC) will take to the PMAC floor on Thursday night to host Auburn (16-9, 5-7 SEC) at 8 p.m. CT on the SEC Network as LSU looks even up the season series.

LSU and Auburn met on January 14 in Neville Arena which had a record 7,720 in attendance. After LSU started conference play 3-0, Auburn handed the Tigers their first loss of the conference season. LSU struggled moving the ball into the post and creating open shots offensively and defensively, the Tigers were unable to stop Auburn’s defensive penetration.

“I thought they were very physical when we played them there,” Coach Kim Mulkey said. “I thought they were very aggressively defensively and offensively. We get another chance to try to beat them.”

Courtney Lyle and Carolyn Peck will call the game on the SEC Network. Fans can listen to Patrick Wright and Shaeeta Williams on the LSU Sports Radio Network, 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge.

Thursday’s game will be LSU’s annual Turner Syndrome awareness game. It is held in honor of Scout Marie Fuller, the first-born daughter of Makenzie Fuller, Coach Mulkey’s daughter, and Clay Fuller. Scout Marie was diagnosed with Turner Syndrome still in the womb and did not make it past her birthday. The game gives LSU an opportunity to raise awareness for the disease and honor survivors at halftime.

“I love seeing all the girls who come to the game that have Turner Syndrome,” Makenzie Fuller said. “They make me feel a little closer to Scout and I just get proud of them for fighting every day with whatever their struggle might be.”

LSU won its next two after losing at Auburn, but then dropped back-to-back games against No. 1 South Carolina and on the road at Mississippi State. Since then over the past four games and two bye weeks later, LSU has looked like a different teams, specifically on the defensive side of the ball. The Tigers’ scoring margin in those four games has been +26.3. They have held opponents to 63.0 points while limiting teams to shoot .335 from the floor throughout that stretch. The offense, which for the season ranks No. 2 in the nation scoring 89.7 point per game, has been fed by the defense in those four games, scoring above 80 in all of them.

“When they are all doing it together and they are all on the same page then it just looks a little smoother,” Coach Mulkey said on the defensive improvements. “We’ve always been a physical team. We’re always going to be physical defensively, but it’s just understanding concepts in transition defense, communicate and open your mouth and we are better today than we have been.”

LSU only has four games left in the regular season. Following Thursday’s matchup with Auburn, LSU will be on the road Sunday at Tennessee. The final week of the season will be at Auburn and senior night at home against Kentucky, honoring Angel Reese and Hailey Van Lith. Neither player has stated whether or not they will be back next season and will wait until after the season to make an announcement. As of today, LSU controls its destiny to finish No. 2 in the SEC for the third season in a row which would give the Tigers a two-game bye at the SEC Tournament.

Auburn is 4-4 since its upset win over LSU back in January, most recently losing its matchup at Alabama on Sunday, 61-67. Honesty Scott-Grayson was Auburn’s top performer against LSU. She scored 21 points and earned SEC Player of the Week honors. She ranks third in the SEC, scoring 17.8 points per game this season. She has been Auburn’s top scorer in all of the past 11 games.

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