11.6.18 LSU vs. Sam Houston

LSU sophomore center Faustine Aifuwa (24) passes the ball during the Lady Tigers’ 66-52 victory over Sam Houston in the PMAC on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.

The LSU Lady Tigers played their way to a 50-point win against the McNeese State Cowgirls in the PMAC Tuesday morning.

LSU celebrated the end of the semester with the largest offensive output of the season, winning 86-36 in a game in which every Lady Tiger scored at least once.

The Lady Tigers had a shooting performance unlike any of their previous games. Their ball movement was efficient and accurate, and they got good contributions from the bench. Five LSU players scored in double digits — Faustine Aifuwa with 10, Khayla Pointer with 12, Ayana Mitchell with 14, Mercedes Brooks with 12 and Jaelyn Richard-Harris with 12.

LSU shot 50 percent from the field at 34-of-68. They were 50 percent from behind the arc on 5-of-10 shooting. They made 62 percent of their free throws and totaled 17 assists as a team. 

The Lady Tigers had 25 steals and forced 36 turnovers. They had 41 rebounds as opposed to McNeese’s 34.

Sophomore center Faustine Aifuwa and sophomore guard Khayla Pointer both had career nights. Each of them put up their first double-doubles of the season. Aifuwa added 10 rebounds to go with her 10 points. Pointer had 12 assists to go with her 12 points.

“It was really my teammates,” Pointer said of her first double-double. “I would find them, and they would knock down the shot.  They make it easy for me.  You got to make the shot. But I have all of the faith in them.”

“I knew I had a height advantage,” Aifuwa said. “I just took advantage of it — getting every rebound and going up strong, staying aggressive.”

The Lady Tigers outscored the Cowgirls by 36 in the paint alone. LSU had 46 points in the paint and held McNeese to only 10. LSU coach Nikki Fargas has spoken in the past about being more intentional in getting the ball to the post. 

The atmosphere in the PMAC on Tuesday was electric, giving the Lady Tigers something to feed off of. The seats were full.  Everyone was yelling and cheering. The energy in the arena was that of a big-time tournament game. The difference, however, was that the seats were full of children. 

Tuesday was the annual Field Trip Game, which over 5,000 Louisiana elementary and middle school students attend. They were giving the Lady Tigers plenty of energy to feed off of, to say the least.

“They’re making signs for you,” Aifuwa said. “You didn’t expect that. They have great energy. You want to play hard for them and put on a good show.”

“When we came out of the locker room and ran out of the tunnel and just saw all of them and they were screaming it really brought joy to my heart,” Pointer said. 

While the Lady Tigers seemed to love the energy and support they got from the thousands of kids in the stands, they realize that it was only for a day.  They would love to have the same support from their home crowd of LSU students.

“It was really awesome to have that atmosphere tonight,” Pointer said.  “We really fed off of that. We were super excited. It would be really great if we could get the students to come out too and support us.”

Fargas had a message for the LSU students. She wants them to come support them at their home games. She believes they would really have a fun time.

“The environment with a bunch of kids is something special,” Fargas said. “I think the students just have to make a commitment and say, ‘Hey, we’re going to go out and watch some women’s basketball.’ I would challenge them to just come out and watch a women’s basketball game. The students just might enjoy it."

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