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After a “long two weeks away,” Angel Reese returns and scores 19 in LSU’s victory

Reese started and finished with 19 points and nine rebounds in No. 7 LSU’s 82-64 victory over No. 9 Virginia Tech on Thursday night. This was her first game since she was benched on November 14. Reese and head coach Kim Mulkey hugged for a while on the sidelines following the game.Reese last participated for the Tigers (8-1) in a 109-79 victory over Kent State in their season-opening game. After missing four games in a row, Mulkey kept refusing to give an explanation for her absence.
Reese said it felt “great” to be back on the court following Thursday’s victory, but she gave no explanation for her absence.

“It was a long two weeks to be away from the team,” she stated. “I’m just happy to be back and this place was amazing tonight.”

Reese had a slow start to the game in the first quarter, going 1 of 4 from the field and 2 of 6 from the free throw line. She did, however, participate in the glass, pulling down five rebounds, four of which came from the offensive end. She shot 5-of-10 from the field and 9-of-16 from the free throw line to close out the game. During the pregame shootaround, Reese was the second player from LSU to leave the locker room. She strode out of the tunnel, pausing to give stadium employee Doretha Bond a protracted embrace.

“I told her, ‘Walk by faith, not by sight,'” Bond recalled.

Prior to the game, Reese received recognition for accomplishing her career goal of 1,000 rebounds, which she reached on November 9 during LSU’s home opener against Queens University. The Pete Maravich Assembly Center crowd erupted in cheers as Reese made his way to center court. Mulkey hurled the ball upwards, which she managed to catch midair. There was a happy, boisterous vibe at LSU’s home court. In order to secure the best seats in the student section, students had to stand in line for several hours under the rain. A few showed up as early as 1:45 p.m. for the tipoff at 8 p.m.

Mulkey now has 700 career wins after her victory on Thursday. She became the first person in men’s or women’s basketball history to reach the milestone as head coach.

Donning purple “Kim Mulkey 700” t-shirts, Reese encircled junior Aneesah Morrow with her arm as they made their way to the student section. They walked through in a parade, getting high fives along the way.

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