The LSU women's basketball team came back from Christmas with a 20-point win over Southeastern Louisiana University by a score of 72-52 in the Pete Maravich Center on Thursday.
The holidays did not seem to affect LSU too much, as they did not seem to miss a beat, defeating the Lions 72-52. Four different Lady TIgers scored in double-digits.
Junior forward Ayana Mitchell finished with 16 points. Sophomore center Faustine Aifuwa was one rebound shy of a double-double, with 11 points and 9 rebounds. Junior forward Mercedes Brooks had 14 points.
One of the other bright spots in the game was guard Shanice Norton, the lone senior on the team. The game against Southeastern marked her 100th game as a Lady Tiger. She put on a show for the home crowd, scoring her first career double-double with 10 points and a team-high and career-high 13 rebounds.
The performance was pure coincidence, however. Norton said that she was not even aware that it was her 100th game until one of the managers told her after the game.
“It is a big highlight for me and my career,” Norton said. “I just have to go forward from now. It is my last season. I just have to go in as hard as possible.”
Not only was she unaware that it was her 100th game, she also did not know that she was on the verge of her first double-double. In a game in which the scoreboard was malfunctioning, she was unsure whether or not the statistics being shown were correct.
“I knew on the points side, I knocked down a few free throws and I hit a couple shots,” Norton said. “So I knew on that side I was doing what I was supposed to be doing. It was a bit of a surprise.”
Norton received high praise from Mitchell after the game.
“She deserves it,” Mitchell said. “She plays hard every time. If her shot is off, she is always going to be there on the defensive end or on the boards. Shanice is a guard but she is one of our best rebounders on the team. She gives her all. For her to get her first double-double in her 100th game, I am so happy for her.”
LSU coach Nikki Fargas credited Norton’s double-double to her work ethic and commitment in practice.
“Shanice is someone who is always the first one in the gym,” Fargas said. “She is going to be there tomorrow getting up extra shots, learning the scouting report inside and out. She is going to play wherever I need her to play. She is just someone who has bought in. She took it upon herself to be a very good offensive and defensive rebounder tonight.”
Fargas believes that Norton will continue to improve and have games like this one throughout the remainder of the season.
“This has been a good year for her,” Fargas said. “I think there is going to be many more double-doubles for her down the stretch. I think when you have someone like a Norton who puts their mind to doing something, she can accomplish anything.”
The LSU Lady Tigers will now prepare to take on the University of South Florida at home on Sunday for the final game before SEC play.