LSU Set To Host Hawaii Friday In NCAA Tournament First-Round
BATON ROUGE – LSU (28-2) will begin play in the NCAA Tournament on Friday at 4:30 p.m. CT as the 2-seeded Tigers will begin their March Madness journey and take on No. 14-seed Hawaii (18-14) on ESPN2 inside the PMAC.
The game will air on ESPN2 with Kevin Fitzgerald and Andrea Lloyd on the call. Patrick Wright and Shaeeta Williams will call the game on the LSU Sports Radio Network, 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge.
In two seasons at LSU, Coach Kim Mulkey has led the Tigers to back-to-back No. 3 seeds in the NCAA Tournament. This marks her 19th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance as a head coach.
Prior to the LSU game, No. 6 seed Michigan and No. 11 seed UNLV will square off at 2 p.m. in the PMAC. The winners from both Friday games in the PMAC will face each other on Sunday for a chance to go to the Sweet Sixteen in Greenville, South Carolina.
LSU is led by First Team All-American Angel Reese who has set the LSU single season record with 28 double-doubles up to this point in the season. She averages 23.4 points and 15.5 rebounds per game.
Alexis Morris, playing in her final NCAA Tournament, has been hot for the Tigers with four consecutive games with at least 20 points, shooting 50-percent from the field during that stretch. Morris was limited during the NCAA Tournament last season after she suffered a sprained knee during LSU’s final home regular season game a year ago. After getting healthy over the summer and taking on a new role as the team’s main point guard, Morris has averaged 15.1 points and 4.1 assists per game.
With Morris limited in last year’s tournament, LSU had a second-round exit after falling to Ohio State. Now the Tigers’ goal is to win one more game in the tournament than they won last year. Morris is the only contributor back from last year’s squad as the Tigers added nine new pieces in the offseason.
“We’re not much more prepared than last year because you have nine new pieces,” Coach Mulkey said. “See, that’s what people keep forgetting. Alexis Morris was with us last year. Angel may have a little taste of it when she was at Maryland.”
The SEC Freshman of the Year Flau’jae Johnson has made an immediate impact for LSU in her first season as the team’s third leading scorer at 11.8 points per game.
In Hawaii, LSU will face a team that is hot with five wins in a row and champions of the Big West Tournament. In the championship game against UC Santa Barbara, Hawaii erased a 15-point second half deficit.
After a 1-7 start to the season, the Rainbow Wahine have played good basketball, since February 4 they are 10-2. Hawaii has battled injuries all season, losing four players to season-ending ailments, including three starters.