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Reese returns, Mulkey notches 700th win as LSU tops Virginia Tech

Andrew Wevers / NCAA Photos / Getty

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Angel Reese had 19 points and nine rebounds in her return from a four-game absence, Mikaylah Williams scored 20 points, and No. 7 LSU defeated ninth-ranked Virginia Tech 82-64 on Thursday night to give Tigers coach Kim Mulkey her 700th career victory.

Reese’s two-week absence from the team stemmed from what Mulkey has described as “locker room issues.” She has declined to go into detail. But when the game was over, Reese and Mulkey shared a long hug.

Her return came at a convenient time for LSU (8-1), which narrowly outlasted Virginia in the Cayman Islands on Saturday without both Reese and fellow power forward Sa'Myah Smith, who went out for the season with a knee injury during a victory over Niagara last Friday.

Reese and forward Aneesah Morrow helped LSU control the paint and limit the production of Virginia Tech star center Elizabeth Kitley in a rematch of a Final Four game in last season's NCAA Tournament. LSU went on to win the national title.

Morrow had 19 points, 15 rebounds, two blocks and three steals, and LSU outrebounded Virginia Tech 43-29. Flau'Jae Johnson scored 13 points for the Tigers, who've won eight straight since dropping their season opener.

Georgia Amoore scored 25 points for Virginia Tech (5-2), which trailed by double digits much of the second half. Kitley had 16 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out in the fourth quarter.

This offseason, LSU added two high-profile transfers — Morrow from DePaul and Hailey Van Lith from Louisville — along with Williams, a coveted recruit. And the rematch with the Hokies in the ACC/SEC Challenge went more decisively to the Tigers after a sluggish start.

LSU looked out of synch early and Tech took advantage, going up by as many as nine point when Matilda Ekh hit a 3 to make it 18-9.

However, Morrow's basket late in the opening quarter began a 9-0 LSU run capped by Reese's layup, which tied the game at 20.

The Tigers led by as many as eight in the second period. Williams made it 35-27 before Kitley's free throws made it 35-29 at halftime.


Virginia Tech: Shot 40.6% (26 of 64) and missed 17 of 21 3-point attempts. The Hokies also turned the ball over 14 times, leading to 12 LSU points.

LSU: Shot 50% (31 of 62). The Tigers made just 3 of 13 3s, but outscored Tech 17-8 at the foul line. LSU finished with a 32-30 edge in points in the paint, as well as advantages of 12-4 in fast-break points and 17-8 in second-chance points.


Virginia Tech: Hosts Long Island on Wednesday.

LSU: Hosts Louisiana-Lafayette on Dec. 10.


AP women’s college basketball: and and

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