LSU coach Kim Mulkey is usually effusive in her praise of a former player of hers she will see Tuesday night in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

You might say she’s over the moon about Tulane senior and former Baylor star Moon Ursin, who leads Tulane for a 6 p.m. tipoff.

Not this time.

“I’m so happy for her and am the biggest fan of Moon Ursin and will pull for her every time she plays except for Tuesday night,” Mulkey said.

For a short time after taking the LSU head coaching job, Mulkey thought Ursin was going to join her in Baton Rouge. Ursin had graduated and planned to leave Baylor for nursing school at Tulane. When Mulkey jumped, Ursin’s first instinct was to follow, but she decided to stick with the original plan.

Now Mulkey has to find a way to slow her down when the Tigers (2-1) and Green Wave (4-0) meet.

“Moon is doing the same thing for Tulane she did for our Baylor team,” Mulkey said. “She’s one of the all-time fan favorites at Baylor. She’s smart, makes great grades, she’s pleasant to coach. She does things you ask her to do.

“Moon is one of about three or four I’ve had that did it the right way. She worked every day to get better and when the time came, she became an All-Big 12 performer.”

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Ursin’s change of heart has helped Tulane immensely. She leads the Green Wave with a 16.3 scoring average and is second with 8.0 rebounds per game. She was named American Athletic Conference Player of the Week after helping Tulane to a 78-68 double-overtime victory against TCU.

“I’ve been so impressed by the high level Moon has been playing at since the start of the season,” said Tulane coach Lisa Stockton when asked about Ursin’s impact. “Being named AAC player of the week shows the respect for her performances. Although I’m sure it will be a strange feeling playing against her former coach, I have no doubt that Moon will step up to the challenge.”

The Green Wave, which has three redshirt seniors and two redshirt juniors in the starting lineup, have also beaten Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Stockton (603-327 overall, 540-300 at Tulane) is in her 28th season and has 11 NCAA tournament bids to her credit. Guard Dynah Jones averages 13.3 points and post player Krystal Freeman 12.8 points and a team-best 9.3 rebounds.

“They’re very solid; there is no one spectacular player,” Mulkey said. “They play well together, mix their defenses up. They’re very confident, but confidence comes from how good you are. We’ll have our hands full.”

Mulkey said she’s looking for continued incremental improvement coming off last week’s 70-41 victory at UL in which LSU struggled offensively but finished strong. Leading scorer Khayla Pointer had a rough night with nine points off 3-of-13 shooting, but Awa Trasi had a season-high 17 and guards Ryann Payne and Alexis Morris combined for 21.

LSU forced 26 turnovers and outrebounded the Cajuns 52-29.

“I really do think our defense is so much better than our offense, and it may end up being that way the whole year,” Mulkey said. “You can only improve certain areas on the offensive end. I can’t take somebody who has never been a 3-point shooter and make them one. But I can maybe give them confidence to shoot one or two and they make one or two.

“It was not a pretty game. I would have left if I had paid for that ticket. We were awful shooting the ball and they were turning it over. That’s the great thing about sports. You have to keep playing, and we left there with a victory.”