Reese has faced a challenging match and encountered immense pressure, prompting LSU women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey to step up and defend her star forward in a statement before the media.

Angel Reese shot just 22 percent from the field in LSU’s 75-60 win over Tenneesee, prompting Kim Mulkey to come to the defense of her star forward when addressing the media

Kim Mulkey came to the defense of Angel Reese after underperforming offensively against Tennessee

Kim Mulkey came to the defense of Angel Reese after underperforming offensively against Tennessee (
Image: Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

LSU women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey defended Angel Reese after she faced struggles on the offensive side of the ball during the Tigers’ 75-60 victory over Tennessee over the weekend.

Reese endured challenging game, shooting just 4-of-18 from the field and finishing with only 11 points. She also shot only 50 percent from the free-throw line, making just three of her attempts. Still, she provided stellar work on the boards and defensively.

The Volunteers feature a powerful front-court with Tamari Key standing at 6-foot-6 and Rickea Jackson at 6-foot-2. Known for their dominance in the paint and on the glass, both players present a significant challenge for opposing forwards and centers. Mulkey was well aware of their physicality and prepared her team accordingly before the game started.

“I think that we knew that coming in,” Mulkey said. “I think it was just [Key’s] size altering shots. We did miss a lot of layups, but I will always give credit to the defense, so I think [their] size had a lot to do with Angel missing shots.”

Despite her uneven offensive performance in the game, Reese achieved a significant milestone by becoming the sixth LSU player to surpass 2,000 career points. With 2,006 career points, Reese currently ranks fifth on LSU’s all-time scoring list. Ahead of her on the list are both Joyce Walker with 2,906 points and Seimone Augustus with 2,702 points.

A notable moment unfolded during the third quarter of the game, with LSU leading 44-36 while Reese was at the foul line. Cameras captured Reese saying, “You can’t be talking to me, watch your mouth,” directed at a Tennessee player off-screen on the court. Reese then made the free throw and asked the opponent how many points they had scored in the game. She continued exchanging words with the player on the sideline before taking her final shot at the line.

Angel Reese (10) controls the ball against Tennessee
Angel Reese shot just 4-for-18 from the field 
Getty Images)
Mulkey leaned on the offensive prowess of Hailey Van Lith to secure the win, as she delivered a game-high 26 points along with seven rebounds and three assists, all without committing a turnover. Van Lith’s career performance prompted Mulkey to come to the defense of her senior guard, especially in the face of criticism on the internet, questioning Van Lith’s ability to run the team’s offense effectively.

“Hailey’s taken a lot of criticism, and it needs to stop,” Mulkey said. “She’s learning a new position. She’s on the top team in the country, the defending national champions.”

“She’s having to play the point guard, and today, she moved to the off-guard,” she continued. “She had zero, and you write that big, she had zero turnovers in almost 37 minutes of play. That’s the most important stat in my eyes.”

LSU sits only behind South Carolina in the SEC with an 11-3 conference record. The team has two remaining games left in the season against Georgia and Kentucky, both in the conference.

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