Da Boot Sports
By: Terrill J. Weil
GREENVILLE, SC - The Lady Tigers advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time since 2008 as they defeated the Utah Utes, 66-63 in a exciting game that went down to the final shot.
LaDazhia Williams had a great game to led the Tigers with 24 points. Angel Reese finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds, while Alexis Morris scored 15. Kateri Poole added eight points and Flau'Jae Johnson scored two.
“I just thought it was two heavyweights going at it, and that’s what I told their coach after the game,” said second-year LSU Coach Kim Mulkey who, in her second season in Baton Rouge, has the Tigers on the doorstep of a Final Four. “I said, somebody had to win and somebody had to lose. We just made a few more plays.”
LSU controlled the first four minutes of the contest, building a 13-6 lead with 6:01 left in the first quarter. Utah would settle down and slowly chip away at the LSU lead.
Kennady McQueen hit a three pointer with 32 seconds in the quarter, giving Utah their first lead of the game, 16-15.
Angel Reese would sink one of two free throw attempts with three second remaining to even the score at 16-16 as the first quarter ended.
Utah drew first blood to begin the second quarter as McQueen hit another three pointer to give Utah a 19-16 advantage. The Utes would go on a 6-2 run over the next two minutes to extend their lead to 25-18 at the 5:50 mark.
LSU would answer with a run of their own, outscoring Utah, 9-2 to tie the game at 27-27 with 3:23 left in the first half.
It was shaping up to be a game of runs as Utah took their turn, answering back with a 6-2 run over the final 2:33 of the second quarter to take a 33-29 lead into the halftime break.
LaDazhia Williams led the Tigers at the half with nine points, while Alexis Morris added eight. Angel Reese finished the first half with five points and four rebounds as she spend most of the second quarter on the bench with two fouls.
The first half stats were pretty even with the difference coming from behind the three point line. LSU hit only
1-5 for 20% while Utah sank 5-14 for 34.7%.
LSU began the second half like they did the first quarter, controlling the game early in the period as they outscored Utah, 8-4 to tie the game at 37-37 at the 7:37 mark.
Both teams played even over the next seven minutes. But with LSU leading 46-44, Isabel Palmer hit a three pointer with 20 seconds left to give Utah a 47-44 lead at the end of the third.
Angel Reese stepped up her play in the third period as she headed to the final quarter with 14 points and ten rebounds for her 31st double-double of the season to tie a SEC record.
LaDazhia Williams scored the first four points of the fourth quarter to put LSU up 50-47 with 7:59 left in the contest.
Utah finally shifted their offense in gear, going on a 5-0 run, going up 52-50 at the 5:53 mark.
The game of streaks continued as the Bayou Ben-Gals responded with a 5-0 of their own, with a three pointer by Kateri Poole, followed by a LaDazhia Williams layup, regaining the lead, 55-52 with 5:00 left.
After LSU extended their lead to 60-52, Utah raced back on a 9-1 run to grab the lead, 63-61 with 56 seconds remaining in the contest.
Trailing 63-62 with 10 seconds left, Alexis Morris calmly sank two free throws to give LSU the lead, 64-63.
Utah's Jenna Johnson was fouled by Angel Reese with four seconds left. Johnson missed both free throws and Sa'Myah Smith came away with the ball off the miss with two ticks left.
Alexis Morris was quickly fouled with no time running off the clock on the inbound play, sending her to the line. Morris hit both charity shots, increasing the lead to 66-63. Utah's final shot at the buzzer was way off target giving LSU the victory.
*John 14:6 - "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior)
A huge Thank You to Cardio Health Solutions owned by Ron Sancho for sponsoring our publication!