LSU women’s basketball jumped out to an early lead in front of another packed crowd and never looked back against Vanderbilt on its way to an 85-62 win.
Angel Reese and Aneesah Morrow scored the first eight points of the game as No. 13 LSU (20-4, 7-3 SEC) went up 8-0 on Vanderbilt (17-7, 4-6 SEC) with 7:04 left in the first quarter.
The lead would grow to 16-2 before Vanderbilt called a timeout with 5:31 left in the quarter. LSU would take a 22-7 lead into the second quarter.
LSU continued to pull away from Vanderbilt and a Mikaylah Williams jumper with 1:45 left in half gave the Tigers a 35-15 lead. Vanderbilt would make its first three of the game with thirty-two seconds left in the half after missing its first 17 attempts. A Johnson jumper right as the half ended saw LSU take a 39-20 lead into the break.
Okay, NEE$🤑— LSU Women's Basketball (@LSUwbkb) February 9, 2024
Reese and Morrow would combine for 16 points and 13 rebounds in the first half as LSU established control of the game. Johnson also pitched in with 8 first-half points as LSU took a 39-20 lead into the break.
LSU’s defense smothered the Commodores in the first half. Vanderbilt shot just 22.9% from the field in the opening two quarters and had 10 turnovers. Jordyn Cambridge, Vanderbilt’s leading scorer had zero points in the first half. Her first points wouldn’t come until 7:05 left in the third quarter.
Both teams struggled from three in the first half with LSU going 1-for-9 and Vanderbilt shooting 1-for-18 at the break.
Vanderbilt started to come to life some in the third quarter as the offense got going, but LSU refused to let the Commodores back into the game. Vanderbilt was able to whittle away at the Tigers lead until it was a 12-point game after a Cambridge layup made it 51-39 with 2:33 left in the quarter.
Soon after, LSU would go on a 10-0 run that stretched into the fourth quarter to put some more distance between themselves and Vanderbilt. LSU maintained its 20-point lead for most of the fourth quarter from that point on.
Johnson led LSU in scoring with 17 points, but the entire starting lineup pitched in. Each starter had at least 10 points. Reese led the Tigers with 16 rebounds and added 15 points.
Hailey Van Lith had 13 points and seven rebounds and Williams added 10 points. Morrow finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
LSU didn’t have the most efficient night shooting just 43.8% from the field and 15.4% from three. The Tigers made just two threes in the game.
LSU outrebounded the Commodores 57-35 with 26 offensive rebounds. LSU finished with 32 second chance points and held Vanderbilt to just 31.3% shooting from the field and 18.8% from three. LSU also forced 19 turnovers.
“We’re getting better, and we’re playing better basketball right now than we have really probably all year,” Head coach Kim Mulkey said after the game. “And it starts on the defensive end of the floor. I think we’re starting to help each other more, we’re moving our feet more, we’re using our bench more. We can score the ball at all positions, but we have to get better defensively, and we have. When you talk about physicality, we’re pretty big. So, we’re going to bang with you. Angel is physical in there, Morrow for her size is physical. I don’t have a problem with it being physical.”
Iyana Moore led Vanderbilt with 17 points. Cambridge had an off night, shooting just 1-for-10 from three and scoring just seven points while shooting just 20% from the field.
Up next, the Tigers play host to Alabama on Feb. 11 at 3 p.m.