LSU Survives First Round vs. JSU, 83-77

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LSU Survives First Round vs. JSU, 83-77

BATON ROUGE – March Madness was alive and well Saturday in the PMAC as No. 3 LSU took down No. 14 Jackson State, 83-77, in a game that featured multiple twists and turns.

The Tigers won their first NCAA Tournament game since 2014. LSU will matchup with Ohio State on Monday with time and television still to be announced. A trip to the Sweet Sixteen will be on the line.

“They just won their very first game in the NCAA Tournament – these kids right here, this senior group,” LSU Head Coach Kim Mulkey said. “That’s important and we don’t need to forget that. They won and they’re experiencing something today and tonight and tomorrow the next game that they’ve never experienced in their life.”

LSU led by as many as 17 in the third quarter, but JSU refused to go away, battling all the back to take a one-point lead into the fourth quarter. JSU ultimately built its lead up to 10 with under five minutes remaining in the game, but LSU, fueled by a home court advantage, stormed back to finish the game on a 19-3 run to survive and advance.

With the game tied under one minute remaining, Pointer drained a three from the left wing to put the Tigers in front once and for all.

“Just stay confident in your game no matter the stretch of the game – high or lows,” Pointer said. “It’s a game of runs. I work on those shots every single day. The ball came around and I just shot it with confidence. I didn’t think twice about it..

LSU’s All-American Khayla Pointer stuffed the stat sheet and had a game-high 26 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists and 4 steals. She is the only player in the last 20 years to have at least 25 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists and 4 steals in an NCAA Tournament game (men’s or women’s), according to Stats By STATS.

Jailin Cherry came out sizzling for the Tigers and scored a career-high 24 points on 12-23 shooting. Eighteen of her points came in the first half. Faustine Aifuwa also played big for LSU, with 17 points and 14 rebounds to finish with a double-double. She also protected the rim with 7 blocks.

Miya Crump was huge for JSU with 21 points, hitting multiple clutch shots to help the Lady Tigers build its lead in the fourth quarter. Ameshya Williams-Holliday had a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds for JSU.

It was a full-court press that fueled LSU’s comeback victory. Trailing 10 with 4:54 remaining the press created chaos for JSU allowing LSU to surge in front and win the game.

Cherry started quick and made her first two attempts to give the Tigers an early 4-2 lead. LSU went up 9-2 after Aifuwa converted on an and-one and Ryann Payne dished it to Cherry on a two-on-one fast break for a lay-in. JSU scored the next five points to bring it within two. Awa Trasi put LSU up 16-12 after grabbing an offensive board, drawing a foul and sinking two free throws. LSU led 16-14 at the end of the first quarter.

Pointer made her first basket, a three, at the 8:08 mark in the second to put the Tigers up by five. JSU scored the next five though to tie it at 19. Cherry scored on the ensuing LSU possession, giving her 10 points and kicking off a 6-0 LSU run. An 8-0 run minutes later gave LSU a 10-point, 35-25, lead after Pointer found Cherry on back-to-back fast breaks to give the Tigers their largest lead. Morris found Cherry on a fast break out of the timeout to put LSU up 12. LSU took a 41-28 lead into the half.

Within the first two minutes of the half, LSU built its lead to 17, but JSU surged back with a 10-0 run. Pointer made a layup to end the run and LSU built its lead back to nine going into the media timeout with 4:51 left in the third quarter. With 2:42 left in the quarter though, JSU tied it with a 6-0 run on back-to-back threes. JSU took a lead, but after a Technical was called on Woodard, Alexis Morris tied the game at 54 with two free throws. LSU trailed by one, 58-57 going into the final quarter.

Pointer scored on the first possession of the quarter to put LSU back in front. Crump put JSU back in front, 62-60, with a step-back three with 8:20 remaining. With 7:00 remaining, LSU trailed 66-60. JSU led 74-64 with 4:54 remaining as LSU was ice cold going into the media timeout.

“The kids never stopped playing hard,” Coach Mulkey said. “They just kept playing hard and we happened to get some steals and change the momentum.”

“This team, we’re relentless,” Pointer said. “We weren’t ready to go home.”

By the 3:20 mark LSU brought it within six and Mulkey called timeout after an Aifuwa layup. Pointer stole the ball out of the timeout and drove the ball all the way to the rack, sinking a circus shot and drawing the foul. She made the free throw to bring LSU within three and then Cherry stole the ball on the next inbound and laid it in to make it a one point game. Payne was called for a delay of game technical after the made basket though, fouling out of the game. JSU missed both technical free throws. Aifuwa blocked a shot then and Pointer took the rebound then went the length of the floor, drawing a foul and making both free throws to put LSU up, 75-74. Cherry put LSU up on a jumper three with 2:12 left on, giving her a new career-high. The game entered its final minute tied at 77. Pointer made a three with 48.7 seconds left to give LSU a lead after JSU had tied it.

LSU’s All-American Khayla Pointer stuffed the stat sheet and had a game-high 26 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists and 4 steals. She is the only player in the last 20 years to have at least 25 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists and 4 steals in an NCAA Tournament game (men’s or women’s), according to Stats By STATS.

Jailin Cherry came out sizzling for the Tigers and scored a career-high 24 points on 12-23 shooting. Eighteen of her points came in the first half. Faustine Aifuwa also played big for LSU, with 17 points and 14 rebounds to finish with a double-double. She also protected the rim with 7 blocks.

Miya Crump was huge for JSU with 21 points, hitting multiple clutch shots to help the Lady Tigers build its lead in the fourth quarter. Ameshya Williams-Holliday had a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds for JSU.

It was a full-court press that fueled LSU’s comeback victory. Trailing 10 with 4:54 remaining the press created chaos for JSU allowing LSU to surge in front and win the game.

Cherry started quick and made her first two attempts to give the Tigers an early 4-2 lead. LSU went up 9-2 after Aifuwa converted on an and-one and Ryann Payne dished it to Cherry on a two-on-one fast break for a lay-in. JSU scored the next five points to bring it within two. Awa Trasi put LSU up 16-12 after grabbing an offensive board, drawing a foul and sinking two free throws. LSU led 16-14 at the end of the first quarter.

Pointer made her first basket, a three, at the 8:08 mark in the second to put the Tigers up by five. JSU scored the next five though to tie it at 19. Cherry scored on the ensuing LSU possession, giving her 10 points and kicking off a 6-0 LSU run. An 8-0 run minutes later gave LSU a 10-point, 35-25, lead after Pointer found Cherry on back-to-back fast breaks to give the Tigers their largest lead. Morris found Cherry on a fast break out of the timeout to put LSU up 12. LSU took a 41-28 lead into the half.

Within the first two minutes of the half, LSU built its lead to 17, but JSU surged back with a 10-0 run. Pointer made a layup to end the run and LSU built its lead back to nine going into the media timeout with 4:51 left in the third quarter. With 2:42 left in the quarter though, JSU tied it with a 6-0 run on back-to-back threes. JSU took a lead, but after a Technical was called on Woodard, Alexis Morris tied the game at 54 with two free throws. LSU trailed by one, 58-57 going into the final quarter.

Pointer scored on the first possession of the quarter to put LSU back in front. Crump put JSU back in front, 62-60, with a step-back three with 8:20 remaining. With 7:00 remaining, LSU trailed 66-60. JSU led 74-64 with 4:54 remaining as LSU was ice cold going into the media timeout.

By the 3:20 mark LSU brought it within six and Mulkey called timeout after an Aifuwa layup. Pointer stole the ball out of the timeout and drove the ball all the way to the rack, sinking a circus shot and drawing the foul. She made the free throw to bring LSU within three and then Cherry stole the ball on the next inbound and laid it in to make it a one point game. Payne was called for a delay of game technical after the made basket though, fouling out of the game. JSU missed both technical free throws. Aifuwa blocked a shot then and Pointer took the rebound then went the length of the floor, drawing a foul and making both free throws to put LSU up, 75-74. Cherry put LSU up on a jumper three with 2:12 left on, giving her a new career-high. The game entered its final minute tied at 77. Pointer made a three with 48.7 seconds left to give LSU a lead after JSU had tied it.