LSU’s basketball standout Angel Reese made a notable return in the Tigers’ 82-64 victory over Virginia Tech.

“It felt great. I mean, it was a long two weeks or a week and a half, two weeks,” she shared post-game. “Taking time to yourself is really important. I feel like that’s just something that was important in resetting and refocusing within the team. I’m just happy to be back.” Contributing 19 points, nine rebounds, two assists, and a steal in 29 minutes, Reese showed no signs of rust.

The NCAA star’s absence previously sparked speculation online. Coach Kim Mulkey kept details private, mentioning only “locker room issues” as the cause. “I’m going to protect my players, always,” she said. “That’s a family in that locker room.”

Focused on keeping a clear mind, Reese also emphasized its significance. “My mental health is the most important thing before anything,” she stated. “I’m going to make sure I’m OK before anything because I don’t want to cause anything — harm or any cancer within the locker room. So, being able to take a reset to myself. Like I said before, I am human. I’m not just an athlete, and that’s OK to do.”

She last played in a 109-79 win over Kent State on Nov. 14, sitting out the second half. Mulkey praised Reese’s handling of the situation: “Proud of her… Just proud of how she handled herself, proud she’s back to the Angel everybody knows.”

During her hiatus, the basketball player found support in NBA and LSU legend Shaquille O’Neal. “Just being able to have somebody like that was something that was really good for me. He told me when I was right. He told me when I was wrong,” Reese revealed. “He told me what I needed to do to get back to where I am.”

The win over Virginia Tech lifted LSU to an 8-1 season record. Reese’s comeback bolstered the team’s prospects as they look toward their next major game on Jan. 7 against No. 19 Ole Miss.