The Lady Tigers of LSU’s Women's basketball team are more than half way through the regular season with a mere six games left. The Tigers are 17-5 overall and 7-3 in SEC play. The Lady Tigers are ranked fourth in the Southeastern Conference including big wins over Kentucky, Texas A&M and Michigan State.
While the Tigers still have a lot of work to do in order to make it to the NCAA Tournament, they are going back to the drawing boards as they will have to do it without their star forward. Ayana Mitchell, the 5th-year senior from Conyers, Georgia suffered a season-ending knee injury on Sunday, Feb. 2 in the Tigers' game against Texas A&M.
Mitchell ends her LSU career as one of the most bountiful women's basketball players in LSU history. Mitchell will finish at No. 6 on LSU's all-time rebounding list with 911 rebounds. She is ranked No. 22 on LSU's all-time scoring list with 1,275 points while her 59.5 career field goal percentage will rank third on the LSU all-time list. An All-SEC performer, Mitchell's 36 career double-doubles ranks among the most in LSU history.
"We are extremely sad with the loss of Ayana, but the legacy she has left for this program is unmeasurable," said LSU head coach Nikki Fargas. "Mitchell is the epitome of what it means to be a great leader, mentor, and friend. She represents LSU with the highest level of integrity and a passion of competitive greatness. We look forward to her recovery and the next chapter that awaits her."
The Lady Tigers are seemingly off to a good start without Mitchell as they beat the Missouri Tigers 66-58 in Baton Rouge on Monday. LSU was led to victory by Redshirt junior Faustine Aifuwa. The Dacula, Georgia native had a season high 19 points and tied her career-high for rebounds with 16 for the second game in a row. She was joined in double digit scoring by three others. Senior Jaelyn Richard-Harris had a season-high tying 14 points while going 8-8 from the free throw line. Junior Khayla Pointer, who was last week's SEC and Louisiana player of the week had 12 points while the junior transfer Awn Trasi scored 11.
The Tigers have now won three games in a row after defeating Florida, Texas A&M and now Missouri. LSU is looking next to defeat the Tennessee Volunteers on Thursday, Feb. 13 at 6:30 p.m. in the Maravich Center. The last time the Vols and Tigers met up was a few weeks ago as the Vols defeated the Tigers 63-58 while in Knoxville.
Post-Tennessee, the Lady Tigers will travel back to back to Auburn and Columbia to face Auburn and No. 1 South Carolina. The Tigers will then have the two last home games of the season on February 23rd and 27th when they play Georgia and Vanderbilt. The Tigers then close out the regular season by heading to Fayetteville to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks on March 1.