Off Shooting Night Can’t Keep LSU From the Final Four
GREENVILLE, SC — Miami’s defense was playing at its peak. The Hurricanes had forced Louisiana State star forward Angel Reese to miss all nine of her first-half shots in Sunday’s round-of-8 matchup in the women’s NCAA tournament. But at halftime, in a game that statistics suggested Miami should have been dominating, LSU was up by 6 points.
That trend continued in the second half. Although LSU displayed one of its worst shooting games of its season, the Tigers’ defense stifled Miami even more, and LSU won, 54–42, to advance to the Final Four for the first time since 2008.
Reese produced her 32nd double-double of the season, filling the box score with 13 points, 18 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. The Tigers were led by 21 points from Alexis Morris, who kept them going in a mistake-filled first half.
The teams both missed more than two-thirds of their shots for the game and combined for just a single 3-point basket in 27 tries, with Kateri Poole hitting the only one after LSU was well in control.
On Friday in Dallas, LSU will play the winner of Monday’s game between No. 1-seeded Virginia Tech and No. 3-seeded Ohio State.
The first half Sunday featured messy offense by both teams. They clanked open shots, turned the ball over and struggled to find a rhythm.
“If I was watching this game, I’d turn it off,” LSU coach Kim Mulkey said in an ESPN interview ahead of the fourth quarter.
The second half wasn’t much cleaner. Still, Reese’s rebounding created second-chance opportunities for the Tigers, who capitalized with layups to extend their lead and cruise to the win.
The Miami starting guards, Destiny Harden and Haley Cavinder, who have been among the Hurricanes’ scoring leaders in their three upset wins in this tournament, combined to finish 1 of 15 from the field with 5 points. Almost all of Miami’s offense came from Jasmyne Roberts, who finished with 22 points and scored 18 of Miami’s first 27.