LSU Women Capture First National Title in a Shootout over Iowa

Dick Cox

April 10, 2023 at 2:06 pm.

LSU won its first NCAA Women’s Basketball National Championship in school history when it defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes, 102-85, in the national championship game in Dallas, TX. The game featured two of the top women’s players in the country. Iowa was led the by the 2022-23 National Player of the Year, Caitlin Clark. LSU’s star, Angel Reese, was a first-team All-American.

The Tigers jumped out to a big lead in the first half led by Jasmine Carson, the West Virginia grad transfer. She scored 21 points off the bench in the first half going a perfect 7-for-7 from the field and 5-for-5 from 3-point range to help build a 17-point lead as Tigers led at the half, 59-42. The 59 first-half points set the record for most points scored in a half in a women’s championship game.

The Hawkeyes fought back in the second half going on a 15-2 run in the third quarter, but foul trouble for Monika Czinano and Clark left them without enough offensive firepower to complete what would’ve been the biggest comeback in NCAA Tournament history.

Along with Carson, LSU had two other 20-point scorers in Alexis Morris and LaDazhia Williams. Morris scored 21 points on 8-for-13 from the field adding a game-high nine assists. Williams scored 20 to go along with five rebounds and three steals.  Reese set an NCAA single-season record with her 34th double double of this campaign, scoring 15 points with 10 rebounds in 29 minutes against the Hawkeyes. She was also named the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four.

The All-Tournament Team selected for the Final Four were Angel Reese, LSU (Most Outstanding Player); Alexis Morris, LSU; Jasmine Carson, LSU; Caitlin Clark, Iowa; and Zia Cooke, South Carolina.

Reese put up some of the most impressive stats in women’s college basketball this season with a 23.3-point and 15.6-rebound average. Reese is a fan favorite and has been nicknamed the Bayou Barbie.

Clark may not have won the national championship, but her unforgettable NCAA Tournament run cemented her place as one of the greatest players the college game has ever seen. The 2023 Naismith Player of the Year scored 30 points and drained a national championship game-record eight 3-pointers against LSU, dishing out eight assists as well.

She set NCAA Tournament records in points (191), assists (60) and 3-pointers (37). She also recorded the first 40-point triple-double in NCAA Tournament history in the Elite Eight, and in the Final Four she scored 41 to become the only player to ever have back-to-back 40-point games in the NCAA Tournament.

LSU Coach Kim Mulkey became one of only three coaches with four or more national titles (Geno Auriemma, Pat Summit), and she’s the first coach to win the championship at two different schools.

A crowd of 19,482 was in attendance to watch LSU’s victory, according to the NCAA. Over 350,000 turned out to watch the women’s March Madness which is a record for the competition.

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