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Akilah Bethel Leads LSU Past UC Santa Barbara, 68-50

Another game, another Lady Tiger stepping up.

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Akilah Bethel's career-high day helped LSU women's basketball cruise to a 68-50 victory over the Gauchos at home.

After 12 days off, Bethel returned to action and produced a fun stat line: 18 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals and 1 block. The woman was on fire. Jenna Deemer added 16 points on 6-for-11 shooting, including three 3-pointers. Jasmine Rhodes pitched in 10 points.

"This is a game that got us back into the rhythm and really gave us that feel of 40 minutes of basketball," said coach Nikki Fargas. "Today we had a lot of people step up in different ways. Not only did our starters do what they needed to do to get us off to a great start, but the play of our bench was key as well. Today was a great team effort."

LSU improves to 6-4 while UC Santa Barbara falls to 1-9.

Uncharacteristically, LSU shot only 50 percent from the free-throw line. Turnovers are still plaguing the Lady Tigers: LSU finished the game with 14 turnovers and UCSB scored 15 points off of them. The Lady Tigers led by 22 in the fourth quarter.

This weekend, LSU travels to the Northeast, and will have to get turnovers under control before facing two of the best teams and coaches in women's basketball history. Rutgers on Saturday. UConn on Monday.

"This is a great opportunity for our team to really go into a hostile environment and show what you are made of," Fargas said. "In doing so you can only come away a winner."