BATON ROUGE, La. — Freshman guard Mikaylah Williams scored 42 points and No. 7 LSU rolled to a 109-79 rout over Kent State on Tuesday.
It was the most points ever scored by an LSU freshman in the NCAA era of women’s basketball and the most by a Tigers player since Cornelia Gayden scored 43 vs. TCU on Jan. 2, 1996.
“My teammates knew I had the hot hand and they were finding me,” said Williams, who was 15 for 20 from the field, including 5 for 8 on 3-pointers. “I just executed on the shots.”
Junior transfer Aneesah Morrow added 17 points, eight rebounds and nine steals for LSU (3-1), which scored 70 points in the second half and flipped the game with a third-quarter run keyed by Morrow’s four steals and the Tigers’ strong shooting.
“I’m very active on defense,” Morrow said. “Coming here to LSU, it was a goal for me to do better defensively.”
LSU All-America forward Angel Reese had 11 points and five rebounds, playing less than 15 minutes as Tigers' depth paced the way to a comfortable win. She didn't play in the second half.
Katie Shumate led Kent State (1-1) with 22 points. Jenna Batsch added 16 points.
The Golden Flashes, who made 14 of 33 on 3-pointers, including 7 of 16 in the first half, led 42-41 with 8:49 left in the third quarter before Morrow’s defense ignited LSU.
“I really enjoyed watching the third and fourth quarters,” LSU coach Kim Mulkey said of her defending national championship team. "I enjoyed the excitement, the joy they played with, the effort they gave.”
Since the Tigers were upset in their season opener by Colorado on Nov. 6, Mulkey has preaching defense daily to her team.
LSU led 39-37 at the half, but turned up its defense in the third quarter. Morrow and Williams combined for 24 of the Tigers’ 32 points to take a 71-56 lead into the fourth quarter.
“Our goal was to make her take tough shots,” Kent State coach Todd Starkey said of Williams. “If you’re knocking down 25-foot 3s with a hand in your face, good for you.”
Kent State: Picked to finish third in the MAC, Tuesday's game at LSU was the second in three days in a Louisiana road trip to open the season. The Golden Flashes won 64-55 at Louisiana-Lafayette on Sunday.
LSU: Junior guard Last Tear-Poa got her second straight start in place of sophomore Flau’jae Johnson, who missed Sunday’s win over Mississippi Valley State because of illness. Johnson was well enough to come off the bench Tuesday against the Golden Flashes. She had 10 points.
Kent State: The Golden Flashes play at Xavier on Nov. 21.
LSU: The Tigers play at Southeastern Louisiana on Friday.
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