LSU Women's Basketball Advances to NCAA Sweet 16, 66-42
BATON ROUGE — LSU all-American Angel Reese scored 25 points and pulled down 24 rebounds — 14 on the offensive end — to propel the Tigers into the Sweet 16, 66-42, over No. 6-seeded Michigan on Sunday night in front of 10,108 at the Maravich Center.
Reese, who posted the second 20/20 game in the program’s NCAA Tournament history, also had six blocked shots and increased her NCAA-leading free throw stats with a 9-for-11 performance. Her 24 rebounds was a program record for a postseason game, bettering Sylvia Fowles’ 20 rebounds and 24 points in the 2008 Women’s Final Four.
She became the first player ever with 25 points, 24 rebounds and 5 blocks in a NCAA Tournament.
“For me I was hungry,” Reese said. “I didn’t want to let my seniors go out on a loss. This means more than me. It’s bigger than me. They had their last game in the PMAC of their career. Just being able to go out there and play as hard as I could and just being out there and leave it all on the floor for them was just the most important thing for me tonight.”
In its 29th NCAA Tournament appearance, third-seeded LSU (30-2) advanced to the Sweet 16 for the 14th time and first time since 2014. LSU will face No. 2-seed Utah on Friday, March 24, in Greenville, S.C.
Game time and network television assignments for the regional semifinals will be announced following Monday’s second-round games.
“It’s not a championship, but it is definitely an accomplishment,” Coach Kim Mulkey said following the 800th game of her head coaching career. “We have won one more game than we won last year. And you better believe that that’s big for us in rebuilding this program.”
After falling in the NCAA second round to conclude her first season at LSU in 2021-22, Coach Mulkey guided the Tigers to the next stage of the NCAA tournament in her 800th college basketball game.
LSU won its 30th game of the season for the first time since 2008 and the seventh time in school history.
Alongside Reese, LSU guard Alexis Morris scored 11 points while forward LaDazhia Williams added a double double of her own with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Jasmine Carson had nine points on three three-pointers during an 11-0 second-quarter run that distanced the Tigers from Michigan.
LSU shot 35.3 percent (24 of 68), but used a 46-26 rebounding advantage to dominate the Wolverines.
Michigan (23-10) was led by guard Laila Phelia, who had 20 points on 7-of-18 shooting including three three-pointers. The Wolverines were held to season lows for scoring, including seven points in the first quarter, 15 points in the first half and 42 in the game.
Reese took an inadvertent elbow to the mouth less than a minute into the contest, cutting open her top lip and sending her to the bench to stop the bleeding. She missed on 2:24 of action and returned to give LSU a 6-2 lead with a second-chance layup moments later.
A left-wing three pointer by Phelia at the 4:29 mark was the Wolverines’ last score of the first quarter, as Reese scored four points to give LSU a 12-7 lead after 10 minutes of action despite 5-of-21 team shooting. LSU outrebounded Michigan in the quarter, 17-7.
An 11-0 second-quarter run by LSU proved to be the difference in the contest. After Michigan scored the first basket of the period, LSU’s Jasmine Carson responded with three three-pointers and the Tigers led 23-9 with 6:21 remaining in the half.
With a pair of layups, Reese completed her 30th double double of the season, this time before intermission.
LSU led Michigan, 30-15, at halftime. Despite shooting 29.3 percent from the field (12 of 41) in the half, LSU used a 15-1 advantage in offensive rebounds to score 12 second-chance points. Michigan managed only 7-of-21 shooting and had nine turnovers for its lowest point total in a half this season (previously 22).
Michigan closed the gap to 10 on a three pointer by Leigha Brown and a layup by Cameron Williams with 6:10 left in the third period but LSU responded with a 10-2 run to end the quarter. The Tigers increased the margin to 16 after three quarters, 47-31.
The fourth quarter was purely cosmetic for LSU, which made 7-of-11 field goals and outscored Michigan in the final 10 minutes, 19-11.