Upset! No. 7 LSU has nation’s longest winning streak snapped in 67-62 loss at Auburn

Tigers fall out of tie for lead in Southeastern Conference

LSU's Angel Reese (10) takes a tough shot in the lane Sunday against Auburn. PHOTO BY: LSU athletics

With the nation’s highest scoring team reduced to one option to force a tie with 10 seconds remaining LSU went with its first team All-American.

Reese took the ball out high, then began her drive to goal but was stripped outside of the basket by Auburn’s JaMya Mingo-Young, whose two free throws helped the home team extend their lead and take a 67-62 upset victory Sunday over No. 7 LSU before a record crowd of 7,720 at Auburn’s Neville Arena.

“I wasn’t getting anything out of anything else we tried to do for 38 minutes and 50 seconds,” LSU coach Kim Mulkey, who missed her postgame radio appearance because of a lengthy stay in the locker room. “She’s a returning All-American and I just thought we would go 1-4 flat. (I had) Confidence. Trust. I let Angel bring the ball up the floor. I just thought we were struggling trying to make a pass to the wing and the wing down to her. What the heck?”

LSU (16-2, 3-1) had the nation’s longest winning streak of 16 games snapped and fell out of a tie for the lead in the Southeastern Conference.

Reese produced her 10th double-double of the season with a game-high 24 points and 11 rebounds. The Tigers, who lead the nation in scoring at 93-plus points, received 12 points apiece from Aneesah Morrow, who had a game-high 15 rebounds, and Flau’jae Williams.

LSU wasn’t able to compliment the play of Reese and Morrow from the perimeter. The guard trio of Mikaylah Williams, Hailey Van Lith and Last-Tear Poa combined for 12 points on 4 of 19 shooting. The Tigers, who played eight players, had their bench outscored, 17-4.

“Their effort was just better than our effort,” Mulkey said. “Their defensive energy and lateral movement was good. That’s the kind of coach Johnnie (Harris) is. They just got after us. Anything we tried to do, whether it was a pass, a shot, they made it hard. The only way you’re going to execute against a team that plays like that is to set screens to get open. You have to make sharp, crisp passes and everything we did was hard.”

Sixth-year senior guard Honesty Scott-Grayson, who won a national championship with Mulkey at Baylor in 2019, led Auburn with 21 points. Louisiana native JaMya Mingo-Young, a transfer from Mississippi State and Alabama, had 13.

Auburn (12-5, 1-3 in SEC) picked up its first win over a top 10 opponent since defeating No. 4 Tennessee on Jan. 27, 2022. The Tigers brought in the SEC’s fifth-best scoring defense at 55.4 points and held LSU to a season-low point total, 41.8% shooting from the field and 64% (16 of 25) from the foul line.

“My team fought. They have been right there,” Harris said. “They prepared well. They played hard. We told them you’ve got to be tough. “I’m proud for them to play in front of a crowd like this. We fed off their energy. We’re making progress. They work really hard.”

LSU, trailing 64-62 with 1 ½ minutes left, went with Reese, who was 8 of 12 from the field. As she made her move to the basket, for the first time all game, Mingo-Young helped and stole the ball and went to the foul line to make her third and fourth straight free throws of the quarter. Scott-Grayson added another free throw with 2.1 seconds showing to account for the final score.

“That’s what we’ve been working on,” Mingo-Young said. “When she gets the ball, just crowd her. I didn’t do it the whole game, but I knew she couldn’t see me when she would spin. I just went and got the ball.”

There were three lead changes over the first 3 ½ minutes of the fourth quarter, the second of which came from Johnson with two free throws at the 8:43 mark.

Scott-Grayson answered with a basket with 6:34 showing for a 55-54 margin when LSU got within 56-55 on Van Lith’s free throw.

Guard McKenna Eddings further fueled Auburn’s upset hopes with a 3-pointer from the corner and a 59-55 edge with 5:24 showing.

Because of the team’s struggles from the field, a span of seven consecutive missed shots, LSU had to combat Auburn from the free throw line with one free throw each from Reese and Johnson. The Tigers got their first field goal of the quarter with 2:50 to play on Reese’s putback and trailed, 60-59.

Auburn increased its lead to 64-60 with 2:02 to go on Mingo-Young’s two free throws when Johnson knocked down a short jumper on an inbounds play, resulting in a 64-62 deficit and a timeout.

Auburn maintained the upper hand with a pair of key offensive rebounds to maintain possession, but Morrow came up with a steal near the end of the shot clock with 32 seconds, setting up LSU’s potential tying possession with Reese.

“It was really a one-possession game there,” Mulkey said. “Get a rebound and see if we can go down and win it or tie it and we gave up two offensive boards.”

After trailing for more than 13 ½ minutes of the first half, freshman Janae Kent gave LSU a 31-30 lead with just over four minutes to play before halftime. Williams added a driving through the lane and Morrow’s putback and layup off an assist from Williams, gave the visiting Tigers a 37-34 halftime lead.

LSU made 61% of its shots (11 of 18) in the second quarter and Morrow scored eight points and Reese added six before picking up her second foul and sitting out the last 1:39.

Auburn parlayed 56.3% shooting (9 of 16) into a 23-15 lead after the first quarter. They also held LSU to 33.3% shooting (4 of 12) and forced them into six turnovers.

Auburn stormed out to a 23-13 lead on Scott-Grayson’s pointer with 50 seconds left in the opening quarter until Poa finished with two of three throws with 1.3 seconds left, only to have the homestanding Tigers outscore the visitors 33-25 in the second half.

“I didn’t think we had any ball reversal,” Mulkey said. “Everything we wanted to do today was make a pass, set a screen, take a shot. I don’t think we had any continuity. Their defense was just disrupting everything we did.”

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William Weathers

1 Comment

  1. We watched them miss at least 10 FT and Van Lith had her worst game ever missing EVERY shot which was 0 for 8 or 9!
    it was probably okay to wake them up like the 1st loss did…

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