BATON ROUGE, La. – (AP) – LSU’s Angel Reese sprinted back on defense to prevent a breakaway layup with her team leading by 14 points in the fourth quarter. Auburn passed out having blocked a pull-up jumper and Reese got the rebound.
It’s another example of why Reese’s relentless end-to-end dominance puts her on the cusp of setting LSU records.
“I love defense. I’m trying not to pick up games,” Reese said. “No matter what the score, I’ll rush back.”
She scored 23 points and nabbed 15 rebounds to maintain her streak of double-doubles in every game this season, and the LSU No. 5 improved her best program record to 18-0 with an 84-54 win over Auburn on Sunday.
From the stands, Seimone Augustus, one of the most successful LSU players of all time, watched from the stands. Earlier in the day, Augustus became the first student and athlete at LSU to have a statue of her unveiled on campus.
“It’s really important to come into LSU and play at LSU and follow their legacy,” said Reese, a sophomore from Maryland who got a cherished photo with Augustus as a child.
The 6-foot-3 player now has 11 games with at least 15 rebounds this season and is a double-double behind Sylvia Fowles’ LSU record of 19 straight, set in the 2006-07 season.
“I’ll do anything to win,” she said. “I am pleased to be mentioned with just Sylvia Fowles, Seimone Augustus. It really is a blessing.”
Jasmine Carson had 18 points and Alexis Morris had 12 points and 10 assists for LSU, which led all the way while going 6-0 in Southeastern Conference play and winning every league game by 19 or more points. LSU freshman Flau’jae Johnson added 10 points to give her at least that many points in seven of nine games.
Still, coach Kim Mulkey opened her post-game remarks by pointing out rebound deficiencies (LSU overtook Auburn 45-38) and later downplayed LSU’s winning streak.
“We really didn’t do anything,” said Mulkey, who won three national championships at Baylor. “We won 18 games and that’s impressive, I get it. We’ve beaten teams, it should be said, and we’ve beaten them with flying colors.
“But this is only my second year here guys. We still have a long way to go.”
Precious Johnson scored 13 points and Kharyssa Richardson added 10 for Auburn (10-7, 0-5), who lost their fifth straight game since SEC play opened.
“We definitely have some modifications. We’re a really young team,” said Auburn coach Johnnie Harris. “I just felt like our kids were struggling and the things where we made mistakes are fixable.”
Auburn is struggling without top scorer Honesty Scott-Grayson, who has missed four out of five games since being injured in a car accident over the holidays. That made it even harder to keep up with LSU and the dynamic Reese, whose quick turnaround off the glass while being fouled on a 3-point play made it 76-50.
“She’s arguably the best player in the league and one of the best players in the country,” said Auburn coach Johnnie Harris. “We knew she would bring it. We just had to try to guard them through a committee.”
LSU opened the first hit with the first of Carson’s four 3-pointers in less than 30 seconds and took their first double-digit lead when Carson’s layup was 23-12 late in the opening period. LSU extended its lead to 19 by the end of the second quarter.
Auburn: Looked underwhelmed in four of his five SEC games. It’s a lone single-digit loss of six against Missouri. Auburn lost at 32 to Mississippi, at 52 to No. 1 South Carolina, and at 31 to Alabama before his lopsided loss at LSU. …Auburn shot 37% (23 of 63), was 2 of 13 from 3-point range and 6 of 16 on free throws.
LSU: Reese has scored 19 or more points in 15 straight points and surpassed the 20-point threshold 14 times in his span. … Reese was 9 of 12 on free throws. … LSU shot 47.8% (32 of 67), including 6 of 16 from deep and hit 14 of 21 free throws.
Auburn: On Thursday in the state of Mississippi.
LSU: host Arkansas on Thursday.
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