HAMMOND, La. (AP) — LSU All-America forward Angel Reese was not with the seventh-ranked Tigers for their short road trip to SE Louisiana on Friday night.
"Angel is part of this basketball team, and we hope to see her sooner than later," LSU coach Kim Mulkey said after the Tigers defeated the Lady Lions 73-50.
Mulkey offered no further explanation and didn't take any additional questions about Reese. No LSU players were made available for postgame interviews.
Reese's surprise absence from the lineup came after she was benched for the second half of LSU's 109-79 victory over Kent State on Tuesday. Mulkey characterized that as a "coach's decision" and did not elaborate.
Reese had started LSU's first four games, during which the Tigers went 3-1, and averaged 17 points and 10.3 rebounds during those games.
Reese has Maryland ties. She spent four years playing high school varsity at St. Francis Academy before attending college at the University of Maryland.
After that, the 6-foot, three-inch forward transferred to LSU where she was named All-American, Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four and became a national champion.
Reese, nicknamed the "Bayou Barbie" and known for her eyelash extensions and pink finger nails, led LSU to its first national title in women's basketball last season. She also has parlayed her popularity into name, image, and likeness endorsements valued at more than $1 million, making her one of the top-earning female college athletes.
Reese led the Southeastern Conference in both scoring (23 points per game) and rebounding (15.4 per game) last season, becoming just the fourth player to lead the league in both categories.
Her 34 double-doubles that season set an NCAA record and her 23 consecutive double-doubles to begin last season broke Sylvia Fowles' previous LSU record of 19.
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