LSU smothers Georgia in fourth quarter to notch an SEC road win

Finally, the fuse lit for the LSU women’s basketball team.

The Tigers scored 25 points in the fourth quarter — the same they scored the entire first half — and had 13-5 finishing kick in the final five minutes Thursday night for 60-52 road win at No. 22 Georgia.

With the game tied 47-47, LSU sophomore Tiara Young completed a three-point play on stepback jumper and a free throw with 4:46 left to start the race to the finish in which five different Tigers scored.

LSU coach Nikki Fargas, whose team improved to 7-7 overall and 5-3, stayed with the same lineup in the fourth quarter. She went with forward Faustine Aifuwa and guards Young, Khayla Pointer, Karli Seay and Jailin Cherry.

“I thought their defensive intensity and their hard work, them playing bigger than what they are on paper really made the difference in the game down the stretch,” Fargas said. “To be able to hold a team like Georgia in the 50s, have a big fourth quarter like we did, it started with our defense.”

Young came off the bench and scored a team-high 17 points and had 5 rebounds and 2 assists. Aifuwa finished with 12 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocked shots. Senior Awa Trasi had 13 points and eight rebounds.

“LSU always play tough, and they are a team that gets better every game they play,” Georgia coach Joni Taylor said. “They got their hands on offensive rebounds, on a lot of loose balls, back tips, and things like that. When you’re playing a team that wants to limit possessions, we’ve got to value the basketball and little bit more than we did.”

Georgia did a good defensive job shutting down the scoring of Pointer, LSU’s leading scorer on the season. She had just 5 points.

But Pointer found other ways to help by collecting 6 rebounds, dishing 6 assists and swiping 4 steals. She also became the eighth player in LSU women’s basketball history to dish out 400 career assists.

Jenna Staiti led Georgia with 19 points, but the Tigers held Bulldogs’ spark plug Abby Connally to just 5 points.

“We did a nice job of really trying to eliminate the play of Gabby Connally,”: Fargas said. “With that being said, they eliminated the play of Khayla Pointer. So, then you kind of looked and saw who was gonna step up. We knew we were gonna have a big punch from Tiara Young. We expected that and she delivered. We also had a big punch again from Awa Trasi.”

The Tigers will return to the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on Sunday to face Ole Miss for the second time this season. The matchup will be streamed on the SEC Network Plus at 1 p.m. CT. It will be the annual Gold Game. Fans are encouraged to wear gold for the game.

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