BATON ROUGE — With a 73-50 win over Hawaii on Friday inside the Peter Maravich Assembly Center, the LSU women’s basketball team advanced to the NCAA Women’s Tournament Round of 32.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Hawaii’s Lily Wahinekapu drained a three-pointer to give the Rainbow Wahine the early lead. LSU’s Flau’Jae Johnson stole a ball and then went the other way for a layup and then took the lead as Angel Reese scored on a putback.
Hawaii’s Wahinekapu reclaimed the lead with a layup to give the Rainbow Wahine a 5-4 advantage. That proved to the last time Hawaii would hold a lead in Friday’s game.
Ladazhia Williams and Reese made back-to-back buckets sparked a 12-0 run for the Tigers. LSU kept Hawaii at a distance for the rest of the first and well into the second quarter.
A steal and score by Wahinekapu cut LSU’s lead down 27-19 with 3:43 to play in the first half. A few moments later, Hawaii managed to make it a seven-point game but LSU closed out the half on a 6-0 run.
LSU led 35-22 at the break and held Hawaii to 26.9 percent shooting from the field, while also forcing 12 turnovers and recording seven blocks and seven steals.
Even though Hawaii hit a pair of three-pointers to start the third quarter, LSU kept pace as the Rainbow Wahine had no answer for Reese who scored the Tigers’ first nine points of the third.
After Hawaii’s Kallin Spiller’s layup started the fourth, LSU extended its lead with a 10-run which featured six points from Alexis Morris, who had been held scoreless up until that point.
Hawaii was never able to truly threaten LSU’s lead as the Tigers cruised to a 23-point win and advanced to Sunday’s Round of 32.
BIG NUMBER: 21
LSU’s defense frustrated Hawaii from start to finish, as the Tigers forced 21 turnovers in the victory.
BIG NUMBER II: 12
Kim Mulkey’s Tigers swiped the ball away from the Rainbow Wahine 12 times in Friday’s victory.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: ANGEL REESE
LSU’s All-American recorded her 29th double-double on the season as she led all players with 34 points and 15 rebounds in the victory.
UP NEXT: LSU (29-2) will take on Michigan (23-9) on Sunday in the Round of 32. Time TBD.