Why Kim Mulkey may ‘have bruises everywhere’ after LSU women’s basketball’s win at Vanderbilt

Flau’jae Johnson knew her jumper from the top of the key was going to be short, so as soon as the ball left her hand, she streaked toward the rim.

She leapt between three Vanderbilt defenders for the ball — as it careened off the iron — but couldn’t corral it. The ball popped out of the gaggle, bouncing toward LSU women’s basketball’s bench and straight toward Kim Mulkey.

Johnson wasn’t going to give up on the play, though.

The star LSU sophomore threw herself at the ball in an attempt to save it from going out of bounds. Instead, she crashed into Mulkey, sending the LSU coach crashing backwards into her assistant coaches — who caught her on the bench.

It may have hurt her more had the Tigers not been sporting a 14-point lead, or went on to win 82-65 inside Memorial Gymnasium on Thursday night, but Mulkey loved the hustle she saw out of Johnson in that sequence.

“Gotta love that. That’s what you want them to do, go for the loose ball. I’m fine,” said Mulkey, who flashed a smile.

LSU (20-4, 7-3 SEC) picked up its 20th win on the season against Vanderbilt and for Mulkey, marked her 24th consecutive season as a head coach with at least 20 wins.

Defense and a host of tenacious plays — like the one where Johnson barreled through Mulkey — paved the way for the Tigers against the Commodores. That level of effort is what Mulkey and her staff teach, she said, even if it bruises her up.

“I’m sure I’ll have bruises everywhere tomorrow. When you have two stents and they have you on blood thinner, I probably got a bruise here, here and here,” Mulkey said.

LSU ROASTS VANDERBILTNo. 13 LSU women’s basketball roasts Vanderbilt on the road

LSU WBB NCAA TOURNAMENT PROJECTIONSWhere LSU women’s basketball stands in NCAA Tournament projections after Florida win

“But I’m good to go and I loved every minute of it. I loved that I fell back into my coaches. That’s what we teach.”

Cory Diaz covers the LSU Tigers and Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns for The Daily Advertiser as part of the USA TODAY Network. Follow his Tigers and Cajuns coverage on Twitter: @ByCoryDiaz. Got questions regarding LSU/UL athletics? Send them to Cory Diaz at [email protected].

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