LSU advances to the NCAA Women’s Tournament after defeating Virginia Tech 79-72 in an exhilarating second half comeback.
Alexis Morris scored 27 points and two of her fumbles in the fourth quarter were converted into rebounding baskets by Angel Reese on a big run as LSU sought to beat top seed Virginia Tech 79-72 in the national semifinal game Friday night.
Reese finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds for LSU (33-2), who will be making their first-ever national championship game.
It comes in the second season since feisty and formidable coach Kim Mulkey returned home to take over a Tigers program that lost five straight semifinal games from 2004 to 2008 the only other times they’ve come this far.
On Sunday, LSU will play semifinal winner South Carolina – Iowa.
And Mulkey, who won three national titles in four Final Four appearances over her 21 seasons with Baylor, is the second coach to take two different teams to the national championship game.
The LSU Lady Tigers react after a 79-72 win over the Virginia Tech Hokies in the Final Four
Angel Reese #10 and Flau’jae Johnson #4 of the LSU Lady Tigers react after a 79-72 win
The other was C. Vivian Stringer, with Cheney as the women’s inaugural in 1982, and Rutgers in 2007.
Trailing 59-50 after three quarters, LSU led with a 15-0 run over five minutes in the fourth period.
They led for the first time since late in the first half when Flugay Johnson stole and drove on a layup to make it 64-62.
Reese had six points on a game-turning spurt, including a basket after Morris’s rattling 3-pointer attempt from the leading edge.
She had a second effort to follow her lead after being bounced back by Morris.
Elizabeth Keightley had 18 points and 12 rebounds for Virginia Tech (31-5), the ACC champion who was in the Final Four for the first time.
l Reese and LaDazhia Williams react during the second half comeback against Virgina Tech