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Reese's 22 points, 14 rebounds lead No. 9 LSU past Kentucky

Eakin Howard / Getty Images Sport / Getty

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Angel Reese had 22 points and 14 rebounds in what might have been her final regular-season game for LSU, and the ninth-ranked Tigers defeated reeling Kentucky 77-56 on Sunday.

Flau'Jae Johnson had 19 points, four steals and four assists, with highlights that included a crowd-pleasing, behind-the-back pass to Hailey Van Lith to finish a fast break during a decisive second-half surge.

Aneesah Morrow had 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Van Lith finished with 15 points for LSU (26-4, 13-3 SEC), which won its eighth straight game — seven by 15 or more points — to finish the regular season.

Ajae Petty had 13 points and 15 rebounds for Kentucky (11-19, 4-12), which lost for the ninth time in 11 games. Saniah Tyler and Amiya Jenkins each scored 14 for the Wildcats.

Johnson helped spark LSU to a first-half lead as large as 17 points with a steal and difficult scoop shot over several defenders to finish a fast break. Van Lith's fast-break layup made it 31-14, but Kentucky closed the second quarter on a 13-2 run, sparked by Tyler's jumper and 3-pointer.

Maddie Scherr's 3 cut it to 33-27 at halftime, but the Tigers rebuilt their lead in the third quarter with an 11-0 run, capped by Johnson's steal and fast-break layup to make it 50-31.

Kentucky got no closer than 11 points after that.


Kentucky: The game at LSU capped off a difficult end to the regular season for Kentucky, which arrived in Baton Rouge after losses to No. 1 South Carolina on Feb. 25 and Mississippi, which finished the regular season in third place in the SEC. The Wildcats dropped to 5-17 at LSU. They haven't defeated the Tigers since the quarterfinal round of the 2022 SEC tournament and haven't won in Baton Rouge since 2019.

LSU: Reese now has 19 double-doubles and Morrow has 18. The Tigers won comfortably despite playing without starting guard Mikaylah Williams, who has averaged 14.9 points. Williams, a freshman, had been ruled out because of a foot injury after playing in all 29 of LSU's previous games this season.


The near capacity crowd inside LSU's Pete Maravich Assembly Center began chanting, “One more year,” when Angel Reese walked to mid court to be recognized during senior day festivities held at halftime.

Although Reese elected to take part in senior day, she has stated that she continues weighing options which include declaring for the WNBA draft or possibly remaining at LSU.

Reese's escort included her mother and former LSU and NBA star Shaquille O'Neal during the festivities.

Van Lith, a transfer from Louisville, also was among the seniors honored.


Both teams head to Greenville, South Carolina, for the SEC tournament, which opens on Wednesday. Kentucky will play in a first-round game on Wednesday. LSU will open conference tournament play in the quarterfinal round on Friday after getting a double-bye as the No. 2 seed.


AP women’s college basketball: and

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