BATON ROUGE – The LSU women’s basketball team will face its toughest stretch of the season as the Tigers take on four Top 25 teams in the next five games. First team up will be No. 10 Texas A&M at Reed Arena in College Station on Thursday, January 9 at 8 p.m. CT. LSU is currently 11-3 overall and 1-1 in SEC play, while the Aggies are 14-1 and 2-0 in the SEC.
The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network and is available the ESPN app with Courtney Lyle and Carolyn Peck calling the action. Fans can also listen to Patrick Wright call the game on the LSU Sports Radio Network. Wright is in his 30th season as the “Voice of the Lady Tigers”. Fans can listen on 107.3 FM and audio broadcasts are available online at LSUSports.net/live. Live stats will be available at LSUsports.net.
LSU is 11-3 on the season and 1-1 in conference action following Sunday’s 69-65 loss at Missouri.
Junior Khayla Pointer led all scorers with 23 points, including 11 of 12 from the free throw line and 11 of the last 13 points scored by LSU in its comeback bid in Columbia. Freshman Tiara Young made an impact in the game with 18 points and 50 percent from the field to go along with some stingy defense. Redshirt senior Ayana Mitchell recorded the 33rd double-double of her career with 14 points and 16 rebounds. Mitchell also made her second three-pointer of the season and the ninth of her career.
Mitchell continues to be strong shooting from the field. Her overall percentage is 69.6 percent for the season which ranks third in the nation and first in the SEC. Mitchell had an amazing December that saw her shoot 89.2 percent over LSU’s four games in the last month of the year. She was 33-of-37, including a stretch of 19 consecutive field goals made to start the month. The consecutive makes streak started in November and extend out to 21 consecutive field goals made.
The streak of 21 is believed to be the most by a Tiger player in the history of the program with research on-going. The NCAA record is 33, set by Ruthy Hebard of Oregon from February 9-19, 2018 against 4 opponents. Other LSU players with double-digit makes streaks include Seimone Augustus in 2004 and Sylvia Fowles in 2007.
Mitchell is on track to become only the fourth LSU player to reach the 1,000 points-1,000 rebounds career marks – currently at 1,189 points and 845 rebounds. She has 33 double-doubles over her career and earlier in the season became the 33rd Tiger to score 1,000 career points. Mitchell played the 100th game of her career against Michigan State on November 29. She is averaging 14.4 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.
Pointer leads the squad from the point with 15.9 points and 4.2 assists per game. She also has the best free throw shooting percentage on the squad at 76.5 and the most steals with 37.
Redshirt junior Faustine Aifuwa is having a solid season in the paint for LSU. Aifuwa is third on the team with 10.4 points per game. She is sporting a 53.8 field goal percentage to go along with 6.8 rebounds per game and 18 blocked shots. Against FGCU on December 19, Aifuwa became the eighth LSU player to block 100 shots over her career.
LSU continues its solid play on defense, having held opponents to 50 points or under four times and 10 opponents at 60 or under so far this season, all victories.
Bench play has gotten stronger as the season has progressed. The LSU bench has outscored opponents 292-225 over the first 14 games of the season. Senior Jaelyn Richard-Harris became the second LSU player this season to play in their 100th game wearing purple and gold when she hit the court against Missouri on January 5.
LSU head coach Nikki Fargas is in her ninth season at LSU (159-109) and 12th overall (231-135). In 26 seasons as a student-athlete, graduate assistant and collegiate coach, Fargas is 635-211.
The Opponent – Texas A&M
Texas A&M is 14-1 overall and 2-0 in SEC play following Monday night’s 79-35 win over Ole Miss. Junior guard Chennedy Carter leads the squad with 22.5 points per game and is second on the team with 61 assists. Carter was named the preseason SEC Player of the Year by media and coaches back in October.
Junior center Ciera Johnson, a transfer from Louisville, and junior guard Kayla Wells are also scoring in double figures at 13.1 and 12.7 points per game, respectively. Junior forward N’dea Jones leads the Aggies with 10.5 rebounds per game and senior guard Shambria Washington tops the assists list with 71.
Head coach Gary Blair has been the head coach of the Aggies since 2003 and recently earned his 800th collegiate coaching win.
A&M holds a one-game advantage in the series, 14-13.
LSU Milestones List
* Ayana Mitchell
– 7th – Career Rebounds – 845 (6th – 894, Cornelia Gayden, 1991-95)
– 24th – Career Points – 1,189 (23rd – 1,221, Patricia Woods, 1985-89)
– Potential to join elite class of Maree Jackson, Julie Gross and Sylvia Fowles as only LSU players with 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds
* Khayla Pointer
– 18th – Career Assists – 256 (16th (tie) – 276, Miriam Farr, 1990-94 & Seimone Augustus, 2002-06)
– Hit the 700 career point mark – at Missouri (Jan. 5)
– Hit the 100 career steal mark – at Oklahoma
* Faustine Aifuwa
– 6th – Career Blocks – 106 (5th – 138, Shanece McKinney, 2010-14)
– Hit the 500 career point mark – vs. Rutgers
– Grabbed 400th of her career – vs. Florida A&M
Follow Along on Social Media
Follow updates on LSU women’s basketball on Twitter and Instagram at @LSUwbkb or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lsuwbkb.
LSU will be at home for the annual Gold Game on Sunday, January 12 against Ole Miss. Game time is set for 2 p.m. CT and the game will be broadcast on SECN+.
The Tigers following home game will be Sunday, January 19 against No. 14 Kentucky at 1 p.m. It will be the annual We Back Pat Game. Fans can purchase tickets for all games at LSUtix.net and are encouraged to wear purple.
(Press Release Provided by LSU Athletics)