Angel Reese is ‘angry’ after LSU’s win over Rice in March Madness. Why ‘it’s good’ for LSU

BATON ROUGE — Angel Reese made one shot.

Let that sink in.

LSU women’s basketball’s star forward, known for stacking up double-doubles with regularity and ease, found her path to a 13th straight performance with double-digit points and rebounds anything but against unassuming No. 14-seed Rice in the NCAA Tournament first round Friday afternoon inside the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

It was an off night for not only Reese, but the Tigers, who amassed a season-high 24 turnovers.


The Owls did something only a handful of teams have accomplished against LSU this season, outscoring Kim Mulkey’s team in the paint 24-20.

Despite that, the Tigers (29-5) outlasted the Owls 70-60 to advance to the second round of March Madness where No. 3 LSU will meet No. 11 Middle Tennessee, which knocked off No. 6 Louisville 71-69 in the first game Friday.

“I’m angry, of course,” Reese said in the locker room after LSU’s win. “I’m going to be worked up tomorrow (at practice). I’m going to go watch film tonight and rest up.

Being able to understand the mistakes I made, I’m not going to have a pretty night every night. I’ve matured enough to know that I can still rebound. I got a lot of rebounds tonight, I got steals tonight, I blocked some shots.

“You don’t let the game get to you as a senior. I’ve done a good job with that. But of course my team is going to need more than 10 points from me.”

Reese and teammate Aneesah Morrow, a duo Reese called “unstoppable,” had to find different ways to be efficient and affect the game as Reese contended with plenty of double teams from Rice’s Malia Fisher, Sussy Ngulefac and Fatou Samb.

Morrow stepped up and relied on the outside shot, going 6-for-11 and scoring a game-high 15 points.

Reese went 1-for-7 shooting from the floor but was able to get to the free-throw line in the second half, knocking down 8 of 12 attempts to finish with 10 points.

For Reese, she leaned in on cleaning up the glass. And she was unstoppable. She had 16 rebounds by the 3:30 mark in the third quarter and ended with 19 for the game. Rice had just four offensive rebounds, 29 total and only managed 11 second-chance points.

“Angel got 19 rebounds. She didn’t shut it down,” Mulkey said. “She got seven shot attempts. So it’s not the Angel Reese show with us. We’ve got other people that can score. She’s an All-American.


Everybody’s entitled to a bad game. She’s entitled to one, and her teammates picked it up for her.

“The only time a coach or the only time I would get upset with somebody that has a bad night is if you just quit on us, you don’t give us something. She had almost 20 rebounds. So she was trying.”

Meandering through the off night, Reese also propped herself up by being one the team’s leaders, something that freshman Mikaylah Williams, playing in her first NCAA Tournament game, and LSU’s other younger players needed.

“She was kind of telling me what to do, where to go, just keep shooting,” Williams said.

“And she rebounded very well tonight. Even though she had an off night, she was still a great leader.”

Reese helped LSU win its seventh straight NCAA Tournament game by supporting her teammates through an ugly game.

But make no mistake, Reese isn’t happy. And practice Saturday, as she and Morrow said, is going to be intense.

Is an angry Angel a good thing?

“It’s good for us,” Williams said through a smile. “I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s good for anybody else.”

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