LSU women facing consecutive challenges in San Juan Shootout

LSU senior guard Alexis Morris (45) is the team's second-leading scorer at 13.6. PHOTO BY: LSU Athletics.

The LSU women’s basketball team, which has started the season with three wins against in-state opponents, will broaden their horizon in the San Juan Shootout.

LSU (3-1) takes on New Mexico State (2-1) on Friday at 1:30 p.m. CT and Missouri State (3-1) at 11:15 a.m. on Saturday. The games, which will be played in the Coliseo Roberto Clemente, are available to be streamed via Flohoops. Fans can also listen to the games on the LSU Sports Radio Network 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge or online at lsusports.net/live.

“We want to go there and win two basketball games,” LSU coach Kim Mulkey. “Back-to-back. We don’t have a day in between. We’ve got to do a quick turnaround there.”

LSU picked up a big win Tuesday over Tulane, 75-58. Five Tigers scored double-digits as the Tigers were able to hand the Green Wave their first loss of the season.

Senior guard Khayla Pointer leads LSU in scoring at 15.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. Graduate-transfer Autumn Newby has been relentless on the boards, averaging 10.3 per game. The Tigers have picked up key contributions from other players, such as senior forward Awa Trasi, who led the team with 17 points at UL-Lafayette, graduate student center Faustine Aifuwa and fellow grad student guard Jailin Cherry, who also shined during LSU’s 15-0 second quarter run against Tulane.

Senior guard Alexis Morris has also been a key player for LSU since being granted her eligibility after transferring from Texas A&M, providing sparks on both the offensive and defensive ends. She is averaging 11.3 points and leads the Tigers with 9 steals this season.

New Mexico State, which was 9-12 last season, is averaging 70.7 points this season and have victories over Western New Mexico and Incarnate Word. Six-foot-three forward Bigue Sarr (12.3 points/7 rebounds), 5-8 guard Molly Kaiser (11.7) and 5-10 guard Taylor Donaldson (11.3/4 rebounds) lead NMSU.

Missouri State is one of the nation’s premier mid-major programs that has made runs to the NCAA Sweet 16 in both of the past two seasons. This year’s Missouri State squad has been led thus far by 6-1 senior Jasmine Franklin who has been named the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week two straight weeks and is averaging 15.5 points and a nation-leading 14.5 rebounds per game. Five-foot-eight senior Brice Calip is averaging 11.8 points per game and is on the Naismith Award Watchlist. She was selected as the Preseason Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year.

“When you look at mid-major programs, Missouri State is always one of the top ones,” Mulkey said. “They’re very good, kind of like Florida Gulf Coast. Everybody that is a true women’s basketball fan knows those teams can beat you.”

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