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LSU’s Kim Mulkey declines to provide reason for Angel Reese’s absence

Angel Reese and LSU hosted East Texas Baptist for an exhibition game on Oct. 26. (Scott Clause/USA TODAY Network)

Angel Reese did not travel with the No. 7 LSU Tigers for their game against Southeastern Louisiana University on Friday.

Reese’s surprise absence from the team comes after she was pulled at halftime of the Tigers’ game against Kent State on Tuesday. LSU went on to win that game, 109-79. Kateri Poole, another veteran on head coach Kim Mulkey’s squad, was also pulled at halftime against Kent State. Mulkey described both players’ removal from the game as,“a coach’s decision.”

Mulkey declined to give specifics on the nature of Reese’s nonattendance at Southeastern Louisiana.

“It’s very obvious Angel was not in uniform. Angel is a part of this basketball team and we hope to see her sooner than later,” Mulkey said in a press conference after LSU’s 75-50 win over the Lions.

Mulkey refused to answer reporters’ follow-up questions about Reese, saying, “That’s all y’all need to know.”

Reese is a key presence on the scoresheet and on defense for the Tigers. She leads the team in rebounds, averaging 10.2 per game this season. She is also the second-highest scorer with an average of 17 points per game. Last season, the Maryland transfer was named the Final Four Most Outstanding Player after leading LSU to the national championship.

Just as there is no official explanation for Reese’s absence from the team, there is no clear timetable for Reese’s return to team activities.