No.7 LSU topped Virginia at the Cayman Islands Classic, 76-73, with help from its transfers and younger players. 

With two starters out of their lineup — Angel Reese and Sa’Myah Smith — head coach Kim Mulkey and the Tigers had to look elsewhere for scoring production. And Aneesah Morrow delivered. 

Morrow knocked down 37 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in her biggest game at LSU yet. 

“That’s one of my prouder victories in all of my coaching career,” LSU head coach Kim Mulkey said to “Under the circumstances this team has had to deal with, to win that game and have players playing out of position and ask them to do things that they’re not comfortable with, just a gutsy performance.”

The transfer from DePaul notched her second-consecutive double-double in a Tigers uniform after she collected 28 points and 10 rebounds against Niagara on Friday. Morrow is used to earning double-doubles — she only had 53 in her two seasons with DePaul.

Hailey Van Lith, a transfer from Louisville, also had a successful night for LSU. She was the only other Tiger to score in double-digits, scoring 12 points for her squad. 

“Aneesah and Hailey bring experience to our team right now,” Mulkey said to Tiger Rag. “They’re experience having played at the college level is helping us right now. What they don’t know about our system, they know about the toughness of the game at this level.”

Kim Mulkey didn’t hold back after top-ranked LSU basketball lost its season opener to No. 20 Colorado, citing players’ lack of leadership in the 92-78 loss.

“I’m disappointed and surprised in some individual players that I thought would just be tougher and have a little fight and leadership about them,” Mulkey said. “But I knew what we faced. When you have that many kids that played that many minutes together [as Colorado], we had our hands full. Colorado did exactly what I thought they would do.”

Some of the Tigers issues are ones Mulkey can “live with,” such as poor shooting, which led to a “tough night offensively,” the head coach said.

“What I don’t live with is just guts and fight and physical play [not being there],” she continued. “You got that dog in you. I just didn’t think we had that tonight.”

LSU freshman Mikaylah Williams (17 points) and sophomore Sa’Myah Smith (16) led the team in scoring. The pair “did all they could,” according to Mulkey.

“You’re talking about a true freshman and a true sophomore. We need more than just them to have a little bit of fight,” she continued, noting that the team’s second line of defense was “nonexistent.” Still, she notes that these things are “fixable,” though she doesn’t know how long it will take.

“We’re not the same team today we were when we won it all,” she said. “I don’t know if anything that went on this summer [with new players transferring in] has anything whatsoever to do with [our] locker room. I think [our] locker room is affected by Colorado being a very good team.”

Angel Reese set an NCAA single-season record with 34 double-doubles last season, and she picked up where she left off, with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Star transfer Hailey Van Lith added 14 points and 7 assists, while fellow transfer Aneesah Morrow had 6 points and 4 rebounds.