LSU BEATS IOWA, 102-85 TO WIN THEIR FIRST WOMEN'S BASKETBALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP!
Da Boot Sports
By: Terrill J. Weil
DALLAS, TX - LSU out-gunned Iowa, 102-85 in Dallas on Sunday afternoon for their first
national championship in program history.
After a tight, competitive first quarter, LSU exploded offensively while turning up the heat on defense to build a 17 point halftime lead, 59-42.
LSU build a 21 point lead in the third quarter, 63-42 at the 8:08 mark, but Iowa battled back, cutting
the Tigers' lead to single digits.
The Lady Tigers simply displayed the heart of a champion, making the big shots when needed to once again pull away for the historic victory.
Kim Mulkey became emotional during the final minute of the contest, letting the tears finally run after fighting to hold them back.
"With about 1:30 to go, I couldn't hold it. I got very emotional. That's really not like me until the buzzer goes off, but I knew we were going to hold on and win this game." Mulkey said. "I don't know if it's the mere fact that we're doing this in my second year back home. I don't know if it was the fact that I am home. I don't know if it was looking across there at my daughter and my grandchildren. I don't know if it was looking across at LSU. I don't know what it was, but I lost it. So that should tell you what I think about it. Very, very emotional and tears of joy."
From the opening tipoff the action was fast and furious as both teams played physical and sharp with no signs of early game jitters.
At the 6:30 mark the contest was even at 9-9 as the game shaped up to be a back and forth affair.
The shootout continued over the next four minutes as we once again had a tie at 20-20 after two Caitlin Clark free throws.
LSU would begin to pull away, going on a 7-2 run over the final 2:40 of the period to take a 27-22 lead into the second quarter.
Caitlin Clark (14 points) and Angel Reese (7 points) both shined in the first quarter to lead the way for their team.
The story of the second quarter was fouls as the officials whistled several phantom calls on both
teams sending key starters to the bench for most of the period.
Iowa opened the second quarter with a 8-2 run to take the lead, 30-29 with 7:54 left in the period.
The Lady Tigers responded by heating up from the outside as Last-Tear Poa sank two three pointers
and Jasmine Carson caught fire, hitting four three pointers, her last coming at the buzzer to put LSU ahead 59-42 at the halftime break.
Carson led the Tigers at the half with 21 points. LaDazhia Williams scored 10 points, Falu'jae Johnson added 8, while Poa finished with 6 points.
LSU shot 21-36 from the floor in the first half for 58.3%, while making an incredible 9-12 from three point land for 75%. They also sank 8-9 from the free throw line for 88.9%.
The Lady Tigers outrebounded the Hawkeyes 16-13 and forced 11 first half turnovers.
LSU quickly increased their lead to 21 points over the first two minutes of the third quarter, but would then go ice cold, allowing Iowa to go on a 15-2 run over the next three minutes, cutting the lead to eight, 65-57 at the 5:22 mark.
But the Hawkeyes could get no closer as the Lady Tigers outscoring Iowa 10-7 over the final five minutes of the period, taking a 75-64 advantage into the final quarter.
It was the Alexis Morris show in the fourth quarter as she took control of the game and was unstoppable over the final eight minutes, scoring 13 points while playing suffocating defense to help put the Hawkeyes away.
It was a total team effort as five Lady Tigers scored in double figures. Jasmine Carson led the team with
22 points, Alexis Morris finished with 21 after only managing two points in the first half. LaDazhia Williams added 20 points and Angel Reese scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for her 34th double-double to end the season.
The 102 point total set a record for the most points scored in a NCAA Women's National Championship game.
Kim Mulkey also became the first head coach in women's basketball to win a national championship with two different schools.
“Coaches coach a lifetime and this is the fourth time I’ve been blessed,” Mulkey said. “Never in the history
of LSU basketball, men or women, has (anybody) ever played for a championship.” “My tears are tears of joy,” she said. “I’m so happy for everybody back home in Louisiana."
What an incredible season by a talented group of young ladies who put it all together and peaked at the right time.... How Bout Them Tigers!!!
Photos Below By: LSUsports.net
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