Reese rescues No. 3 LSU in 82-77 OT win over Georgia
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Angel Reese showed little interest in celebrating after extending her LSU-record double-double streak to help the third-ranked Tigers maintain their unblemished record.
She wasn't all that pleased with how she or her team played.
Reese had 23 points and 14 rebounds to extend her streak of double-doubles to 22 games, and No. 3 LSU narrowly remained unbeaten with an 82-77 victory over Georgia in overtime Thursday night.
“Honestly, it's a wake-up call,” Reese said. "We beat Tennessee (on Monday) and then we came into Georgia thinking they were going to lay down.
“They didn't lay down,” Reese continued. “We're definitely the hunted and I think they did a great job scouting us, they did a great job playing against us.”
Alexis Morris highlighted her 15-point night with a 3 from the right corner in the final minute of the extra period to give LSU (22-0, 10-0 SEC) a 77-74 lead, and the Tigers held on from there.
“Lex has hit a few of those big shots this year,” LSU coach Kim Mulkey said. “It was big.”
Morris was coming off a career-high 31 points against Tennessee, but didn't score in the first half against Georgia. She hit one 3 in the third quarter and scored 12 of her points in the fourth period and overtime
“I was clutch when I needed to be,” Morris said. “Of course, it’s frustrating because everybody’s expecting me to have another 30-ball right? But I showed up in a way I needed to.”
Diamond Battles scored 22 points for Georgia (15-9, 4-6), which had a chance to pull within a point when De'Mauri Flournoy was fouled behind the 3-point line with 8 seconds left. But Flournoy made just one free throw.
Morris rebounded Flournoy's last miss and then hit two free throws for the final margin.
Reese grabbed 11 of her rebounds on the offensive end, helping LSU score 20 vital second-chance points.
“We didn't shoot well tonight, so I just tried to get as many rebounds as I could get to get second-chance opportunities,” said Reese, whose point total could have been higher had she not missed six of her 15 free throws.
Sa'Myah Smith and LaDazhia Williams each scored 10 points for LSU, which rallied from a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
Brittney Smith scored 13 points, Javyn Nicholson 12 and Alisha Lewis 11 for Georgia, which held the Tigers to their second-lowest regulation point total this season.
The Lady Bulldogs “fought, they stayed together, they stayed focused, they stuck to the game plan," Georgia coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson said. "Maybe the only thing we didn’t do really well is box out.”
Georgia led 59-50 after Battles converted her steal of Flau’Jae Johnson’s pass into a fast-break layup with 7:53 left.
But the Tigers quickly cut it to 59-55 on Reese’s basket inside and Morris’ 3.
Reese hit four straight free throws over multiple possessions to pull LSU back into a tie at 63. After Battles' free throws put Georgia back in front, Morris again tied it with a fast-break layup.
Smith and LSU's Kateri Poole each made one of two free throws, and regulation ended tied at 66 after both teams failed to score on their final possessions of the period.
The Lady Bulldogs never trailed by more than four points until the final seconds of overtime. LSU held a 30-29 lead at halftime, but Georgia led for the last 5:07 of the third quarter, going up 55-48 after Battles' fast-break layup.
“We can't get lax,” Reese said. “Just getting back in the gym and being able to get better, I think that's going to be important for us.”
Georgia: The Lady Bulldogs looked formidable defensively in recent victories over Missouri (62-51) and Mississippi State (62-34) and maintained that form at LSU, holding the Tigers to 36% shooting (24 of 67). Nicholson scored at least 10 points for the 10th time this season, and for the seventh time in a reserve role.
LSU: This marked just the fourth time this season the Tigers were held below 70 points in regulation and the first time they were pushed to overtime. Georgia's defense had a lot to do with that, but LSU missed a number of open shots. The Tigers' 18 turnovers were relatively few against a Georgia squad that has forced 20 or more opponent turnovers in 15 games this season, but Georgia was efficient in scoring 21 points off turnovers. LSU outscored Georgia at the foul line 28-15.
Georgia: Visits Vanderbilt on Sunday afternoon.
LSU: Visits Texas A&M on Sunday afternoon.
AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball