LSU Women’s Basketball Star Van Lith Sets New Season High in Points Against Tennessee

Photo of author

By Md Afraz Alam

Hailey Van Lith showcased her prowess with a standout performance, contributing a season-best 26 points to propel No. 13 LSU to a commanding 75-60 win against Tennessee on Sunday at the Food City Center.

The game drew an impressive crowd of 15,281 spectators, marking the largest turnout for Tennessee this season, surpassing the next highest attendance by over 4,000.

Van Lith dominated the scoring charts with her impressive 26-point haul, shooting 9-18 from the field and sinking four three-pointers.

Notably, she had been averaging a modest 7.7 points in her previous three outings, making her explosion in this game even more impactful.

Her stellar performance in the fourth quarter, where she scored 12 crucial points, provided the Tigers with the momentum they needed to secure the victory.

Following Van Lith’s lead was Mikaylah Williams, who contributed 15 points by shooting 7-18 from the field. Williams, a freshman, has consistently showcased her scoring ability throughout the season, reaching the 15-point mark or more in 14 games.

Angel Reese achieved a significant milestone by surpassing 2,000 career points during Sunday’s game in Knoxville. Reese’s performance saw her contribute 11 points while grabbing an impressive 16 rebounds, marking her 18th double-double of the season.

Aneesah Morrow came close to securing another double-double, falling just two points short as she recorded eight points and grabbed 13 rebounds. However, Morrow was unable to find the basket in the second half. Together, Reese and Morrow combined for 29 of LSU’s 57 rebounds.

On the opposing side, Rickea Jackson led the Lady Vols with 16 points, shooting 6-18 from the field, and also secured nine rebounds. Tamari Key contributed 10 points, while Tess Darby added nine points for the Volunteers. Tennessee struggled from beyond the arc, shooting 3-18, and managed only a 31.1% field goal percentage.

Looking ahead, the Tigers are gearing up for their upcoming showdown against Georgia scheduled for Thursday. The game is set to tip off at 8 p.m. CT and will be broadcasted on ESPN2 from Stegman Coliseum in Athens, Georgia.

Following this away game, LSU will return home to celebrate senior day with a matchup against Kentucky next Sunday, March 3.

Early in the game, LSU seized control with a 5-0 run three minutes into the action, grabbing their first lead at 7-5. Last-Tear Poa extended the lead with a three-pointer, pushing LSU ahead 14-9 just before the first media timeout.

However, the Lady Vols rallied with a 5-0 run of their own, tying the game at 14 with over three minutes left in the quarter. Van Lith closed out the opening quarter with a top-of-the-key triple, giving LSU a 19-16 advantage.

Van Lith continued her hot shooting, knocking down another three-pointer to open the second quarter. By the 11-minute mark, LSU had already reached its average of four three-pointers.

LSU called a timeout as both teams hit a scoring drought in the second quarter. The Tigers managed to stifle Jackson, Tennessee’s leading scorer, preventing her from attempting a field goal for much of the quarter.

Flau’ Jae Johnson’s efforts led to a 7-0 run, granting LSU their first double-digit lead at 33-22, prompting a timeout from the Volunteers. Despite a string of missed attempts, LSU capitalized on offensive rebounds, with Morrow converting a put-back to close out the half with a 38-26 lead.

Van Lith emerged as the top scorer in the first half, tallying 12 points, with half of her total coming from beyond the arc, where she maintained a perfect 2-2 record.

Morrow closely followed with eight points and an impressive nine rebounds throughout the initial 20 minutes of play. Despite a strong start, Tennessee’s Jackson was limited to just two points in the second quarter, ending the half with a total of eight points.

LSU capitalized on turnovers from the Lady Vols, converting them into 10 points, and dominated the rebounding battle with a 31-26 advantage over their opponent.

Throughout the first half of the third quarter, both teams fiercely contested, with Tennessee edging out LSU 10-7 before the media timeout, narrowing the margin to 45-36.

Following this break, the Tigers endured a three-minute scoring drought, allowing the Lady Vols to reduce the deficit to just five points. Van Lith halted Tennessee’s 8-1 scoring spree, pushing LSU’s lead to 47-40 with over two minutes remaining in the third period.

However, Darby’s second three-pointer brought the score to within one possession, making it 47-45. The Volunteers closed out the quarter strongly, embarking on a 13-4 run to outscore LSU 19-10, leaving them trailing by just three points as they entered the final quarter.

LSU opted for an early timeout as Key’s basket narrowed the lead to just two points with nine minutes left on the clock. After the brief pause, the Tigers ignited their offense, led by Van Lith’s impressive performance.

Van Lith contributed eight of LSU’s 12 points following the timeout, extending their lead to seven points by the final media timeout. A formidable 11-2 run by LSU further widened the gap to 16 points.

The Tigers’ defense held Tennessee scoreless for over three crucial minutes towards the end of the game. With an authoritative 18-5 run to close out the match, LSU secured a comfortable 15-point victory, ending with a final score of 85-60.

Leave a Reply

Discover more from News Today Daily

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading