LSU women’s basketball head coach Kim Mulkey was brought to Baton Rouge to revitalize a program that hasn’t made the NCAA Tournament since 2018. The legend won three national championships as Baylor’s head coach and one as a player at Louisiana Tech.
Through 17 games Mulkey and her program have surpassed all expectations. The Tigers are 15-2 with wins over three ranked teams. Missouri (13-3, 2-1) will try to keep them from their 16th win when they travel to the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on Thursday night.
On the court, LSU is led by graduate senior Khayla Pointer. The All-SEC Preseason first team guard has lived up to the hype leading the Tigers in points and assists while ranking second in rebounding. She’s also provided a threat from deep, hitting 40.3% of her 3s for a team that is below average from beyond the arc in attempts and makes. She’s complimented by guard Alexis Morris who averages 14 points.
The backcourt matchup should be interesting. Missouri’s Mama Dembele and Lauren Hansen are similar in height to LSU’s guards. If Dembele can contain Pointer, that will be huge for MU's chances in Baton Rouge.
Defense and rebounding is really where LSU separates itself. Its 55.5 points per game allowed is No. 34 in the country and it outrebounds opponents by more than nine boards per game which is No. 19 in the nation. LSU has only allowed more than 60 points in two games and the ability to keep teams off the glass and neutralize second-chance points is a huge part of that.
For Missouri to come out on top, taking good shots and winning the battle of the 3-point line are going to be key. Against Missouri State — MU's previous game against a solid defensive team that struggled to shoot — Missouri failed to do both. The Tigers scored just 51 points against the Bears and allowed nine made 3s. If LSU is able to shoot like that, it’s hard to imagine Missouri getting its third conference win.