Angel Reese Returns To Baltimore In Hometown Sellout

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LSU v Coppin State
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - DECEMBER 20: Angel Reese #10 of the LSU Lady Tigers watches the game in the second half against the Coppin State Eagles at Coppin State University on December 20, 2023 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
Reese scored 26 as LSU dismantled Coppin State 80-48.

Angel Reese was greeted by the first sell-out crowd in the 14-year history of Coppin State's Physical Education Complex as she made her first return to her hometown of Baltimore since leaving the Maryland Terrapins last year. In front of 4100-eager fans, Reese and LSU dismantled their hosts 80-48. Reese had a game-high 26 points, adding 6 rebounds and 5 steals to her tally as well. “I knew that people were going to come out and support. They love me here, right or wrong, up and down. Baltimore has always had my back," Reese said after the game. Flau'jae Johnson added 18 for the Tigers.

The win moved LSU to 12-1, their twelfth consecutive win since their season-opening loss to Colorado. However, the Tigers have hardly been tested during the non-conference period. Only Virginia and Virginia Tech have really pushed LSU since the Colorado game. However, that only adds to the hype around the Tigers' January 25 clash with currently undefeated South Carolina.

Angel Reese Reveals Reason For Four-Game Absence

Of course, the biggest story surrounding LSU's early season start was the abrupt absence of Reese from the team for four games around Thanksgiving. Upon her return, Reese explained her absence as a "mental health break" and was self-imposed. "Taking time to yourself is really important. I feel like it's just something important, resetting, refocusing within the team. I'm just happy to be back. My mental health is the most important before anything and I'm gonna make sure I'm okay before anything because I don't wanna cause any harm or cancer in the locker room. I want to people realize that I'm not just an athlete. I'm a human, too. I go through things," Reese said after LSU's win over Virginia Tech.

Furthermore, Reese claimed that Shaq had FaceTimed her every day during her absence. Reese recently signed onto Reebok as Shaq's first signing in his president of basketball role. However, Reese's explanation raised questions with some fans. Firstly, it doesn't explain why Reese was benched at halftime against Kent State in what Kim Mulkey called a "coach's decision". Secondly, one of the few comments Mulkey made about the situation was that it was a "locker room issue". While things didn't fully add up, fans were happy to have Reese return to the team.

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About The Author
Benjamin Mock (they/them) is a sports and culture writer working out of Philadelphia. Previously writing for the likes of Fixture, Dexerto, Fragster, and Jaxon, Ben has dedicated themselves to engaging and accessible articles about sports, esports, and internet culture. With a love for the weirder stories, you never quite know what to expect from their work.