Maryland transfer Angel Reese scored a career-high 31 points and No. 14 LSU established a school record for points scored with a 125-50 victory Monday over Bellarmine in the season opener at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
“I’ll never take her for granted with her skills,” LSU coach Kim Mulkey said of Reese, who had a double-double with 13 rebounds to go with four steals, two assists and two blocks. “I’ve told her many times, and I tell everyone else she’s a beast on the boards, and I say that in the most complimentary of ways.”
LSU (1-0) a program record with 44 made free throws which was four shy of the NCAA mark. The margin of victory was one away from tying a program record.
“I was really excited, and I felt really confident going into the game,” Reese said. “I let the game come to me.”
Freshman Sa’Myah Smith had a double-double in her LSU debut with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Other players that had double-figure points in their LSU debut included transfer Jasmine Carson (17), Flau’jae Johnson (14) and Kateri Poole (14).
Returning guard Alexis Morris was LSU’s other player to reach double-figures, scoring 16 points.
Reese scored 10 of her team’s first 17 points and LSU went on a 20-2 run and ended with a 23-point lead in the first quarter.
The Tigers went 44-57 from the line, shattering the free-throw record as they scored over a third of their points off free throws. LSU out rebounded Bellarmine 56-28, and capitalized off the offensive glass, scoring 20 second chance points.
Morris started the second quarter by draining a corner three falling backward to the floor.
LSU continued with a 15-0 run that included another 3 from Morris and five more points from Reese. The Tigers ended the quarter shooting 8-9 from the field and finished 2-2 from behind the arc.
LSU shot 60% from the field for the first half and 72% from 3-point range. The Tigers scored 28 points off 18 turnovers and scored 30 points in the paint in the first two quarters.
LSU will be back at home for Military Appreciation Night on Thursday as the Tigers take on Mississippi Valley State at 7:00 p.m. The game will be streamed on SECN+.