LSU's Kim Mulkey says 'sleazy reporter' didn't distract team in 2nd round win: 'Absolutely not'


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The biggest story about the LSU women’s basketball team as March Madness is well underway has not been about their performance on the court, but rather comments made by their head coach, Kim Mulkey, regarding a rumored hit piece that she expects to be published. 

Mulkey made waves during her opening statement at a press conference before the Tigers’ second round matchup with Middle Tennessee, as she threatened to sue The Washington Post after hearing rumors the outlet was contacting former “disgruntled” players in an attempted “hit piece.”

Of course, distractions off the court this time of year is nothing a team wants to see, but the Tigers’ slow start on Sunday against Middle Tennessee, who was leading at halftime, 36-32. LSU rallied in the second half to win dominantly, 83-56, after holding Middle Tennessee to just 20 points in the half. 

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LSU Lady Tigers head coach Kim Mulkey reacts to a play against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders during the second half at Pete Maravich Assembly Center. (Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports)

The game sent Mulkey and her Tigers to the Sweet 16 once again, but after the game, a reference to a “sleazy reporter” was mentioned when asked if the team was distracted at the start of the game. 

“I’m not going to let one sleazy reporter distract us from what we’re trying to do. Absolutely not,” Mulkey said. “My kids didn’t even know I said that yesterday. That team’s not involved in this. They were in shock when they saw all that on the Internet. I don’t take that stuff to my team.”

Four of the five starting Tigers finished with double-digit points, as sophomore guard Flau’Jae Johnson led the way with 21 points, two assists and four rebounds. Angel Reese had a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Aneesah Morrow had one of her own, leading LSU with 13 boards and 19 points. 

LSU STAR ANGEL REESE WAVES GOODBYE TO MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE PLAYER WHO FOULED OUT

The only Tiger without double-digit points was guard Hailey Van Lith, who was benched to start the second half. She had just four points on 1-of-5 shooting. 

After surprisingly needing to fend off Rice in their first round matchup, Mulkey came into Saturday’s press conference in defensive mode with her comments about The Washington Post story. 

“I wouldn’t normally discuss media rumors about me, but I felt the need to publicly address what exactly this reporter for The Washington Post has been doing the past several years and the lengths he has gone to try and put a hit piece together,” Mulkey said.

Mulkey added that the reporter, who she did not mention by name, has been working for two years to get a story out about her. She has denied interview requests due to the “hit job” that was written about LSU football coach Brian Kelly by the same reporter. Mulkey said the reporter contacted LSU on Tuesday and “demanded” that “more than a dozen questions” be answered by the time the team tipped off in their first-round matchup. 

“Are you kidding me? This was a ridiculous deadline that LSU and I could not possibly meet, and the reporter knew it,” Mulkey said. “It was just an attempt to prevent me from coming and an attempt to distract us from this tournament. It ain’t gonna work, buddy.” 

Kim Mulkey grabs face of Middle Tennessee State player

LSU Lady Tigers head coach Kim Mulkey talks with Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders guard Savannah Wheeler, #4, after the game at Pete Maravich Assembly Center. (Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports)

Mulkey claims the reporter has been contacting her former players in an effort to get “negative quotes” out of them for the story. 

“Former players have told me that The Washington Post has contacted them and offered to let them be anonymous in a story if they’ll say negative things about me. The Washington Post has called former disgruntled players to get negative quotes to include in their story,” she said.

“Reporters who give a megaphone to a one-sided embellished version of things aren’t trying to tell the truth.”

Mulkey added that she has a legal team waiting in the wings with the chance of suing the outlet if the story were to be published. 

“I’ve hired the best defamation law firm in the country and I will sue The Washington Post if they publish a false story about me.”

Kim Mulkey points on court

LSU Lady Tigers head coach Kim Mulkey gives directions against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders during the second half at Pete Maravich Assembly Center. (Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports)

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A spokesperson for The Washington Post declined to comment to Fox News Digital regarding the situation. 

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