With a 66-63 victory over Utah on Friday night at the Greenville Regional 2, the LSU women’s basketball team advanced to the NCAA Women’s Tournament Elite 8.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
After the two teams began the game trading free throws with LSU’s Alexis Morris and Utah’s Alissa Pili each draining their two attempts, the Tigers went on a 7-0 run with Kateri Poole scoring five of the seven points.
With 6:01 left in the first, LSU led 13-6 but Utah responded as Gianna Kneepkens made a three-pointer and then a layup which cut the lead down to two points.
At the end of the first, the Tigers and Utes were tied 16-16.
Utah took control as the Utes started the second quarter on a 9-2 run. LSU answered back with a 6-0 run as Morris made a pair of jumpers.
The two teams battled back and forth but back-to-back three pointers gave the Utes a 33-29 lead with 1:09 left before halftime.
At the break, Utah led LSU 33-29.
With LaDazhia Williams scoring six of the team’s first eight points to start the third, LSU had tied the game at 37-37. Both teams would go back and forth the rest of the third with Utah holding a 47-46 lead at the end after a Isabel Palmer three-pointer with 20 seconds left.
A pair of buckets by Williams gave LSU a 50-47 lead early in the fourth quarter but Utah answered and retook the lead with 6:29 left in the fourth.
After Utah pushed its lead to 52-50, LSU responded with a Poole three-pointer and then a Williams layup. With 4:32 left in the fourth, the Tigers held a 55-52 lead.
After Angel Reese made a few free throws, Morris then drained a three-pointer to give the Tigers 60-52 lead with 3:25 left.
Utah retook the lead with a 9-0 run as Kneepkens scored seven of the points. With 56 seconds left, the Utes led the Tigers 63-61.
LSU’s Reese was fouled and made one of two free throws to cut the lead down to one point. Reese then grabbed a defensive rebound and the Tigers took a timeout with 15 seconds left.
Reese missed a layup but Morris grabbed the rebound and was fouled on the play. The LSU senior guard drained both of her free throws giving the Tigers a 64-63.
After Reese fouled out, Utah had a chance to win the game but Jenna Johnson missed both free throw attempts. Dasia Young grabbed the rebound but Sa’Myah Smith — who came into the game for Reese — stole the ball.
Morris was then fouled and hit both free throws to give LSU a 66-63 lead with two seconds left.
BIG NUMBER: 23.1
LSU struggled shooting from beyond the arc as the Tigers made only 23.1 percent (3-of-13) from three-point range in Friday’s Sweet 16 game against Utah.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: LADAZHIA WILLIAMS & ALEXIS MORRIS
LSU’s forward came up in a big way for the Tigers as she scored a team-high 24 points on 11-of-14 shooting while also pulling down 6 rebounds. Morris meanwhile made clutch shots down the stretch as she scored 15 points and made 6-of-7 free throws.
UP NEXT: LSU (31-2) will take on Miami in the Elite 8 on Sunday.