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LSU Basketball

One-of-a-kind performance ends LSU’s season

April 2, 2024

The LSU women’s basketball team played well enough Monday night to beat just about every team in the country.

The Tigers had two players record double-doubles and two other players score at least 18 points. LSU had a huge advantage on the backboards – outrebounding its opponent by nearly 20.

But, the opposing team had the best player in women’s college basketball this season. Caitlin Clark delivered a virtuoso performance in the regional finals at Albany (N.Y.).

Clark scored 41 points, handed out 12 assists and grabbed seven rebounds in Iowa’s 94-87 victory. So, the Tigers will not win a second straight national championship and the Hawkeyes will take another shot at winning it all this weekend in Cleveland.

Clark did receive some offensive support from Kate Martin, who scored 21 points. However, Clark is the tone-setter for this Iowa team as should be the best player in the country. Clark was 13-of-29 on field goals, including 9-of-20 on 3-pointers.

The teams were tied 45-45 at halftime. Each team took turns controlling the action. The Hawkeyes jumped ahead 17-9 in the first four minutes. LSU answered with a 22-9 run to take a five-point lead into the second quarter. Iowa tied the score with 2:34 before halftime.

The third quarter decided the game with Clark providing the spark. She made three 3-pointers in the first two-plus minutes after the half. Led by those three shots, the Hawkeyes grabbed a 58-49 lead. The Tigers came no closer than six points the rest of the way.

By the end of the third quarter, Iowa had a 69-58 lead. Clark scored 12 of her 41 points in the period. In the fourth quarter, Clark made 3-pointers whenever LSU made any type of rally.

A 3-pointer by Mikaylah Williams and a field goal by Aneesah Morrow left the Tigers down by six points with 9:08 remining. One minute later, Clark knocked down a shot from behind the arc to give the Hawkeyes a 75-65 lead.

Three minutes later, Clark sank another 3-pointer which basically ended the night for LSU. That 3-pointer left the Tigers behind 80-69.

On Saturday, Flau’Jae Johnson carried LSU in the fourth quarter in its 78-69 regional semifinals victory over UCLA. Johnson and Williams did their part Monday against Iowa. Johnson, who was 10-of-18 from the field, had 23 points. Williams finished with 18 points.

Angel Reese and Morrow had somewhat deceptive numbers. There was no doubting what the two post players did on the boards with Reese grabbing 20 rebounds and Morrow snagging 14 rebounds.

However, both players had difficulties making shots. The two players combined for 31 points, but they needed 39 shots to reach that figure. Reese missed 14 of her 21 field goal attempts, while Morrow missed 11 of her 18 shots from the field.

Hailey Van Lith missed eight of her ten field goal attempts and scored just nine points. Normally, the Tigers’ offensive output would have been enough to win a game. However, Clark was just too good on this night for LSU.

So, the Tigers finish the season with a 31-6 record. LSU came away with no titles. The No. 1 team in the country – South Carolina – won the Southeastern Conference regular season title and then beat the Tigers in the SEC tournament title game.

On Monday, LSU lost to the best player in the country as Clark led Iowa to a regional championship and a Final Four berth.

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Tags: Basketball
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