Freshman guard Flau’jae Johnson scored a career-high 27 points and sophomore forward Angel Reese produced her fifth straight double-double, powering No. 15 LSU past Northwestern State, 100-45, at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
The Tigers (5-0) have started the season with a school-record five 100-point performances, one off the NCAA record of six by Kim Mulkey-led Louisiana Tech which reached that plateau six times in a row tp start the 1981-82 season.
“The schedule is done before I know I have Angel Reese,” said Mulkey, now 31-6 in her second season as LSU’s coach. “The schedule is done long before you know how many transfers you’re getting in here. We inherited a program that win nine basketball games and if you think I’m going to overschedule before I know what I have that would be a terrible mistake.
“We will love next year with these kids coming back and playing together,” Mulkey added. “We’re on the phone now to try and improve the non-conference schedule. Other the recruiting, scheduling, there’s no exact science to it. But I’ve seen many a coach lose their job because they want to play everybody and I’m not about that. I’m about developing kids. I’m about letting them get playing time, get confident. They know what it looks like out there, but I’ve got to keep coaching them and making us better. It’s a progression. You slowly get a better non-conference schedule.”
Mulkey and the Lady Techsters went on to win the first ever NCAA women’s basketball national championship.
“Angel Reese is the definition of a player that just makes you want to be better,” said Johnson said. “I’m a freshman, but a lot of people are looking for me to do great things and I want to challenge myself to do great things.”
Johnson also had 10 rebounds, five assists and six steals.
Reese had a career-high 19 rebounds, grabbing at least 15 rebounds in each of the past four games.
“When I was younger, I was a point guard,” Reese said. “Up until middle school I was a point guard until we were short guard players. Playing against my brothers made me tough.”
Alexis Morris followed with 17 points and three assists and was a perfect 4-4 from the free throw line. Freshman, Sa’Myah Smith added 11 points and five rebounds.
LSU (5-0) hit the road for the first time, heading to the Bimini, Bahamas during the Thanksgiving holiday. The Tigers will take part in the two-day Goombay Splash against George Mason at 1 p.m. Thursday and UAB.
The Tigers shot 49% from the field and 33% from the 3-point line. They also outrebounded the Demons (1-3) 56-27 and outscored them 56-16in the paint.
Morris’ five points and four from Reese led LSU to a 14-5 start in the first quarter. The Tigers led 23-12 after the first quarter.
Johnson scored seven of her game-high total in the second quarter and Reese reached double figures in both points and rebounds with three minutes before halftime. The Tigers ended the quarter on a 13-3 run for a season-high 37 in the quarter for a 60-25 halftime lead.
LSU hit the 100-point mark with 28 seconds left when Jasmine Carson knocked down a 3-pointer.