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HomeSportsAngel Reese's absence continues; star forward misses third straight LSU game

Angel Reese’s absence continues; star forward misses third straight LSU game

Angel Reese, the Most Outstanding Player of the 2023 Women’s NCAA Tournament was once again away from the team during a game Friday. 

The Tigers also lost Sa’Myah Smith to a right knee injury early in the game but still managed to defeat Niagara at the Cayman Islands Classic.

ESPN reported Reese did not travel with the team to the Cayman Islands. 

“You will know when she comes back,” coach Kim Mulkey said of Reese following the game. “Obviously, she’s not with us.”

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LSU guard Kateri Poole also missed Friday’s game. Mulkey said she would have an update on Poole’s situation in the near future.

Friday’s game got off to a turbulent start after a fire alarm went off during pregame warmups. The gymnasium was briefly evacuated, which caused a 40-minute delay.

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Reese hasn’t appeared in a game since she was benched during halftime of the Tigers’ game Nov. 14. At the time, Mulkey described Reese’s benching as a “coach’s decision.”

“Angel was not in uniform. Angel is a part of this basketball team, and we hope to see her sooner than later,” Mulkey said after a game last week.

Mulkey did not provide much of an update when she spoke to reporters during a postgame news conference earlier this week.

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“You always have to deal with locker room issues,” Mulkey said. “Sometimes you don’t know about it. Sometimes you want to know more than you’re entitled to know. I’m going to protect my players, always. They are more important.”

LSU opened the regular season with a disappointing loss to Colorado. But the team has won six straight.

Reese is averaging 17 points and 10.3 rebounds per game this season. She finished last season averaging 23 points and 15.4 rebounds per contest. Reese transferred to LSU from Maryland ahead of the 2022-23 season.

Reese had a whirlwind offseason. She signed multiple name, image and likeness deals after April’s NCAA women’s tournament. She was also featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue and made a cameo in a popular music video.

LSU is scheduled to play Virginia Saturday. The Tigers will then return home to host Virginia Tech Thursday.

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