Kim Mulkey and her women’s basketball Tigers officially open the regular season Tuesday

PHOTO BY: JONATHAN MAILHES

The Kim Mulkey era of LSU women’s basketball starts Tuesday morning at 11 a.m. when the Tigers open their 2021-22 season against Nicholls State in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

Mulkey, a Tickfaw, La. native who won three national championship as Baylor’s coach for 21 seasons, was hired to take over the LSU program in April when Nikki Fargas resigned as coach after a 9-13 season.

“It all starts Tuesday,” Mulkey said. “We will focus, and we will do tremendous scouting reports and make sure we know who is guarding who. They need to understand wearing that LSU shirt means a great deal. It’s a privilege to wear that shirt. There is a lot of teams and a lot of individual players that would trade places with them, so you are going to get their best shot.”

Mulkey has three main senior leaders on her roster — guards Khayla Pointer and Jailin Cherry and center Faustine Aifuwa — all of whom decided to return for their additional year of eligibility prior to Mulkey’s hiring.

Newcomers Hannah Gusters and Autumn Newby will see significant minutes in the post rotation. Gusters followed Mulkey from Baylor to LSU and was part of a post rotation in Waco last season that featured two All-Americans. After sitting last season out, Newby joined LSU as a graduate transfer after starting all 84 games of her career at Vanderbilt. In LSU’s two exhibition games, Newby has averaged 14 rebounds per game.

LSU has dominated the series over Nicholls with a 14-0 record against the Colonels. The Tigers have held Nicholls below 50 points in each of the past five matchups.

Nicholls is led by Dobee Plaisance, the mother of former LSU Women’s Basketball player Theresa Plaisance, who now plays in the WNBA for the Washington Mystics. The Colonels were picked to finish No. 4 in the Southland and have Chelsea Cain and Chyna Allen of the Preseason All-Conference team.

The season opener will air on the SEC Network Plus and fans will be able to listen to the game on the LSU Sports Radio Network (107.3 FM in Baton Rouge). Patrick Wright and Shaeeta Williams will be on the call for both broadcasts. Parking lots 401 and 404 will be open for fans to park.

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