DALLAS – The No. 3-seeded LSU Tigers (33-2) accomplished a fourth quarter comeback to take down No. 1-seeded Virginia Tech (31-5), 79-72, inside American Airways Area in Dallas to advance to the Nationwide Championship on Sunday.
LSU will play for a nationwide championship in basketball for the primary time in program historical past. The ladies’s program had beforehand reached 5 consecutive ladies’s Remaining Fours from 2004-08, however the Tigers by no means superior previous the nationwide semifinal – till now.
The Tigers will face No. 2 Iowa for the nationwide championship, because the Hawkeyes knocked off No. 1 South Carolina late Friday, 77-73. LSU and Iowa have met thrice in ladies’s basketball historical past, most just lately on Nov. 25, 1990.
Sunday’s Nationwide Championship will air on ABC at 3:30 p.m. CT. The Ladies’s Basketball program will look to seize LSU’s fiftieth nationwide championship as an athletics division.
An unbelievably dominant fourth quarter powered the Tigers to victory on Friday. LSU outscored Virginia Tech 29-13 within the last body to come-from-behind and safe a seven-point win. The Tigers have been led by and fifth-year senior Alexis Morris and sophomore ahead Angel Reese, who scored 27 factors and 24 factors, respectively.
Elizabeth Kitley led the Hokies with 18 factors and 12 rebounds, the one different participant on the ground to seize a double-double alongside Reese. Virginia Tech additionally completed with two different gamers in double figures as Kayana Traylor and Georgia Amoore each tallied 17 factors.
In simply her second season in Baton Rouge, Mulkey will function the top coach in a Nationwide Championship sport for the fourth time in her profession. She has received each such sport she has coached, profitable NCAA Championships at Baylor in 2005, 2012 and 2019. She’s going to look to turn out to be the primary NCAA DI Ladies’s Basketball Coach with NCAA Championships at a number of colleges. Mulkey is already the primary individual – males’s or ladies’s – with NCAA DI Championships as a participant, assistant coach and head coach.
“I got here house for many causes, one to sometime dangle a championship banner within the PMAC,” Mulkey stated. “By no means, ever do you assume you’re going to do one thing like this in two years.”
This group has pieced it collectively in Coach Mulkey’s second 12 months at LSU, going to the nationwide championship with 9 new items (4 freshmen and 5 transfers) and just one returning contributor in Alexis Morris.
A kind of items was her star switch Reese, who had one other file breaking efficiency scoring 24 factors and hauling in 12 rebounds to guide her group to the Championship in her first 12 months as a Tiger. Reese’s double-double was her thirty third of the season and ties the NCAA file for essentially the most double-doubles in a single season.
The Baltimore native additionally broke two rebounding data together with her 12 boards, totaling 545 rebounds this season to interrupt the all-time file for many rebounds in a single season for each LSU and in the complete Southeastern Convention (SEC).
“It’s like a dream,” Reese stated. “I’m simply not even believing this proper now. It’s loopy how a lot my life has modified in a 12 months. We believed in one another greater than anyone else.”
The story continues to be written on Morris, who regarded proper at house on Friday, fulfilling her dream of ending her senior evening in Dallas. The Beaumont, Texas native will play the final school basketball sport of her prolonged profession in her house state after main LSU with 12 factors within the first half and ending the evening with 27.
When Mulkey determined to return house to Louisiana, one of many greatest causes was to hold a banner within the PMAC at some point. By no means, ever, Mulkey says, do you assume you’re going to have the chance to take action in 12 months 2. And even with all of the basketball historical past in Baton Rouge, this group stands in a league of their very own.
“It’s loopy that I’m sitting up right here,” Mulkey stated. “It’s loopy we’re on the brink of play for a nationwide championship. I maintain eager to name someone to say ‘inform me how we did this in two years.’ 9 new items.”