The NCAAW defending national champion LSU dropped its season opener to No. 20 Colorado Buffaloes 92-78 on Monday.
The No. 1 ranked LSU Tigers is the fourth defending champion in NCAAW Division 1 history to lose its season opener. UConn was the last women’s defending champ to lose its season opener in 1996.
The Colorado Buffaloes took control of the game in the second quarter and coasted to an easy win over the Tigers. LSU was expected to repeat as national champs this season.
Colorado guard Kindyll Wetta (#15) and center Aaronette Vonleh (#21) swarmed LSU forward Angel Reese on defense. The MVP struggled to get an open look at the basket.
LSU’s coach Kim Mulkey expressed disappointment in her players after the game. But she didn’t mention any player specifically.
“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 in the postgame press conference.
Mulkey seemed to suggest that Reese’s off-the-court activities may have had an effect on her game.
“We’re not the same team today we were when we won it all,” said Mulkey. “I don’t know if anything that went on this summer has anything whatsoever to do with [our] locker room.”
Reese, 21, was photographed everywhere but on a basketball practice court over the summer. Earlier this year, Reese suggested she was too famous to attend classes at LSU.
NBA icon Shaquille O’Neal looked shell-shocked after LSU’s season opening loss. The LSU alum recently signed Reese to a million-dollar contract in his new position as Reebok’s first President of Basketball.
Shaq and WNBA legend Candace Parker both visited the LSU locker room to console the players. They also surprised Colorado by visiting their locker room to congratulate them on their impressive victory.