LSU women's basketball benches Angel Reese while star freshman outshines everyone

In her shaky start to the season, LSU women's basketball coach Kim Mulkey benched Angel Reese in the second half of a 109-79 win against Kent State on Tuesday. Later, Mulkey was enigmatic about the decision.

The defending national champs' top freshman Mikaylah Williams scored 42 points to help the squad. The consensus top-five recruit Williams hit 15-for-20 from the field and 5-for-8 from 3-point range. 

Reese scored 11 points in 14 minutes but saw the bench in the second half as LSU drew away. "Coach's decision," Mulkey told reporters. She later said she "could" explain the benching "but I won't."

The change follows last week's program turbulence. Mulkey claimed that only Williams and second-year forward Sa'Myah Smith provided enthusiasm after a loss to Colorado. The 61-year-old expressed dissatisfaction with Reese and Hailey Van Lith's starts.

"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 then. "But I recognized our situation.

We had our hands full with that many youngsters playing that many minutes in Colorado. Colorado accomplished what I expected.

"You live with poor shooting and a rough offensive night. Without guts, struggle, and physical play, I don't live. I doubt we had it tonight. This will not destroy us. Chicken Little predicted the sun will rise tomorrow, right?