Mulkey, LSU women rally in Final Four, reach 1st title game

Kim Mulkey is again in some other country wide championship game, this time taking the flagship college from her domestic country there for the primary time.

It took LSU handiest two seasons to get there with the feisty and flamboyantly dressed coach, and a large comeback inside the national semifinal game that changed into quite an undercard Friday night time.

Alexis Morris scored 27 points and had two of her misses inside the fourth area turned into putback baskets with the aid of Angel Reese in a massive run as LSU rallied to overcome top-seeded Virginia Tech 79-seventy two inside the first semifinal sport.

“I’m by no means satisfied. I’m extraordinary-excited that we received, however I’m hungry,” said Morris, who jumped on a courtside desk and fired up LSU fanatics after the sport. “Like, I’m grasping. I want to win all of it so I can whole the tale.”

Reese finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds for LSU (33-2), a good way to play within the countrywide name sport Sunday against fellow AP All-American Caitlin Clark and Iowa (31-6), which beat previously undefeated South Carolina seventy seven-73 of their rather anticipated matchup and avoided an all-Southeastern Conference very last.Mulkey — in a carnation red pinnacle this time — gained 3 country wide titles in four Final Four appearances over her 21 seasons at Baylor. She is most effective the second one instruct to take two exclusive teams to the country wide championship recreation. The different is C. Vivian Stringer, who did it with Cheyney inside the inaugural 1982 women’s match and Rutgers in 2007.

“I came domestic for masses of reasons,” Mulkey said. “One, to a few day hold a championship banner in the PMAC (Pete Maravich Assembly Center). Never, ever do you believe you studied you’re going to do some thing like this in years.”

LSU made 5 national semifinal games in a row from 2004-08 — the handiest instances the Tigers had made it this a ways. They lost each of these years.

The Tigers had to dig deep for this one, with neither group backing down.

Trailing 59-50 after 3 quarters, LSU went ahead with a 15-0 run over a 5-minute span. The Tigers led for the first time considering the fact that past due in the first half while Falu’jae Johnson had a thieve and drove for a layup to make it sixty four-62.Reese had six factors in that recreation-turning spurt, inclusive of a basket after Morris’ attempted 3-pointer clanked off the front rim. Reese had a 2d-attempt observe of her own leave out after rebounding some other shot with the aid of Morris.

Elizabeth Kitley, the 6-foot-6 senior, had 18 points and 12 rebounds for Virginia Tech (31-5), the Atlantic Coast Conference champion that became within the Final Four for the primary time. Georgia Amoore and Kayana Traylor each had 17 factors, at the same time as Cayla King had 14.

Amoore set a record for the maximum 3-tips in a single NCAA Tournament with 24, though she had a tough night time taking pictures — 4 of 17 standard, inclusive of 4 of 15 from past the arc. She handed Kia Nurse’s file 22 set within the 2017 tourney for UConn, which misplaced within the national semifinals at the equal court docket. Arizona’s Aari McDonald had 22 in six NCAA tourney video games two years ago.The big run for LSU came right after Amoore made her ultimate three-pointer with 7:fifty two left for a 62-57 lead. The Hokies didn’t make any other basket until King’s 3 with 1:19 left.

“I assume we had some critical turnovers in addition to neglected container-outs wherein they scored on 2nd-threat opportunities,” Traylor stated. “I assume that’s just what it got here down to really.”

Morris had opened the fourth area with a 3-pointer for LSU, then had a driving layup before Reese had a layup after a thieve with the aid of Johnson. That short 7-0 run brought on a timeout via Hokies teach Kenny Brooks.

“They hit more than one pictures, gave them a touch little bit of momentum. They hit a three right off the bat … type of changed the momentum,” Brooks stated. “They have been competitive within the passing lanes. But additionally they had been a bit bit more aggressive down low.”

Virginia Tech had ended the primary half of with its personal eleven-0 run to steer for the first time, at 34-32 on Traylor’s driving layup with fifty three seconds left.

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