No. 12 LSU women hosting Vanderbilt in SEC contest

PHOTO BY: LSU women's basketball Twitter.

The No. 12 LSU women’s basketball team (16-2, 4-1 SEC) hosts Vanderbilt (10-7, 1-2 SEC) Sunday at noon in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in this season’s ‘We Back Pat Game’.

“(Vanderbilt) is competitive in games,” LSU coach Kim Mulkey. “They’re winning games. Much improved. When you watch her (Coach Shea Ralph) teams play, they’re playing hard. They realize what their deficiencies are on the offensive end so they’re making up for it on the defensive end.”

SEC member institutions will support The Pat Summitt Foundation during their home basketball games starting January 16. During the women’s games slated for the week, various efforts will be made to increase awareness of The Pat Summitt Foundation.

The Pat Summitt Foundation Fund launched November 27, 2011 by Pat Summitt after her diagnosis of early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type at the age of 59.

Mulkey said her press conference Friday how special her relationship was with Summitt. Each year during her playing career at Louisiana Tech, Mulkey played against Summitt-coached Tennessee teams. Mulkey played for Summitt during the 1984 Olympics, winning a gold medal for Team USA.

Sunday’s game will be televised on the SEC Network and can be heard locally over 107.3-FM with Patrick Wright and Shaeeta Williams handling the call.

LSU won a thriller Thursday over Missouri, 87-85. Khayla Pointer’s layup with 5.7 seconds left gave LSU the late lead and Alexis Morris blocked a shot attempt. Four Tigers – Pointer (21), Jailin Cherry (20), Morris (17) and Faustine Aifuwa (15) – scored 15 points or more.

Pointer (1,634 career points, 527 career assists and 487 career rebounds) can become the first player in LSU history to put up 1,500, 500 and 500 in those respective categories.

“She’s one of the better, premier, elite guards in the country,” Mulkey stated about Pointer. “What is it that she cannot do that makes someone better than her? She can shoot the three, she can pass the ball, she can defend, she can rebound. I think she’s as good of guard in the country – and she can play multiple positions on the perimeter. I just don’t think she gets enough recognition.”

Pointer’s averages 21 points in SEC play and has five double-doubles this season and became the third player in program history to record a triple-double during LSU’s season opener.

LSU will be without graduate student Autumn Newby, its leading rebounder because of tendon issue that should hopefully resolve itself with rest.

Vanderbilt’s Jordyn Cambridge is one of the best defenders in the nation. She leads the country with 68 total steals and is No. 4 with 4.0 steals per game. Vanderbilt has lost its past two games and is near the bottom of the SEC when it comes to offensive production. The Commodores allow 65.25 points per game with is No. 13 in the SEC. LSU meanwhile is No. 2 in the SEC, scoring 76.3 points per game.

“They’re so active and they move a lot defensively that they create a lot of havoc,” Coach Mulkey said.

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