LSU survives Virginia to stay unbeaten without Angel Reese

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands -- The No. 7 LSU Tigers held off the Virginia Cavaliers 76-73 on Saturday night to go 2-0 without Angel Reese in the Cayman Islands Classic.

Coach Kim Mulkey declined to provide an updated timetable for Reese's return during a postgame news conference.

"You ask it every game, you're gonna get the same answer," she said.

Reese was benched in the second half of LSU's fourth game of the season on Nov. 14 and hasn't suited up for the Tigers (7-1) since. LSU has won all four games she's missed.

Reese did not accompany the team to the Cayman Islands. Junior Kateri Poole is also not with the team and sophomore Sa'Myah Smith suffered a right knee injury in the first quarter of LSU's game against Niagara on Friday. Smith did not play on Saturday, leaving the Tigers short-handed in the post.

The Tigers only played seven players, with multiple players out of position during the game. Mulkey praised her team for stepping up to the many challenges it has faced.

"You got some kids that just want to win," Mulkey said. "They came to LSU to do what they did here, and they did it under unforeseen circumstances. That just makes me feel so good about them."

Without Reese, Poole and Smith, two transfers led the way for LSU. Junior Aneesah Morrow totaled 65 points and 26 rebounds over the two games. Her 37 points and 16 rebounds on Saturday were both season highs. She played all 40 minutes against Virginia (4-2) and was named to the All-Tournament team. Senior Hailey Van Lith totaled 32 points and 12 assists over the two games.

Sophomore Flau'jae Johnson had a career-high 15 rebounds on Saturday.

LSU will host No. 9 Virginia Tech in a showdown on Thursday.