Rob Issa, FISM News
The “Bayou Barbie” got her ring.
Angel Reese scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Jasmine Carson scored 22 points, Alexis Morris added 21 and LSU beat Iowa 102-85 Sunday night in the NCAA women’s championship.
The Tigers overcame another superb performance from Iowa junior Caitlin Clark, the AP National Player of the Year, to capture the first basketball title in school history. Clark scored 30 points but couldn’t lead the Hawkeyes to the title.
Reese was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player after setting an NCAA single-season record with her 34th double-double.
Known for her trash-stalking style and love for fashion, Reese reveled in the spotlight after waving goodbye at Clark in the handshake line and pointing to her finger with her hand raised to signal that she was getting a championship ring.
ANGEL REESE TO CAITLIN CLARK 😳 pic.twitter.com/2NY0CEzwJ3
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 2, 2023
“All year, I was critiqued about who I was,” Reese said. “I don’t fit in a box that y’all want me to be in. I’m too hood. I’m too ghetto. But when other people do it, y’all say nothing. So this was for the girls that look like me, that’s going to speak up on what they believe in. It’s unapologetically you.”
Reese transferred from Maryland to join Hall of Fame coach Kim Mulkey at LSU. Mulkey won her fourth championship and first since returning to her home state. She led Baylor to three titles. Only Connecticut’s Geno Auriemma (11) and legendary Tennessee coach Pat Summit (8) have won more. Mulkey is the first women’s coach to win national titles at two different schools.
“Coaches coach a lifetime and this is the fourth time I’ve been blessed,” Mulkey said. “Never in the history of LSU basketball, men or women, has [anybody] ever played for a championship.”
Clark set an NCAA record for points in a tournament with 191, surpassing the 177 that Sheryl Swoopes scored in 1993 while leading Texas Tech to the title.
She didn’t notice Reese’s hand gestures after the game.
“I was just trying to get to the handshake line and shake hands and be grateful that my team was in that position,” Clark said. “That’s all you can do is hold your head high, be proud of what you did. All the credit in the world to LSU. They were tremendous.”
MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP GAME TONIGHT
On Monday night, UConn faces San Diego State in the men’s final.
The Huskies, who’ve won every game this tournament by double digits, are seeking their fifth national title and first since 2014. The Aztecs are playing in their first championship after Lamont Butler’s buzzer-beater Saturday night lifted San Diego State over Florida Atlantic.
The Aztecs were in position for a No. 1 seed in the 2020 NCAA Tournament before it was canceled by the pandemic.
“We’ve always been knocked down,” said Matt Bradley, who had 21 points in the Final Four victory. “But the biggest thing we always do is get back up and keep fighting.”
UConn advanced by defeating Miami 72-59 on Saturday night.
Huskies coach Dan Hurley aims to match his brother’s NCAA championship. Bobby Hurley won a title as a player at Duke. Dan played at Seton Hall in the 1990s and began his coaching career under his father, Bob Hurley, at St. Anthony’s High School in New Jersey.
After leading Rhode Island to the NCAA Tournament in his final two years, Dan Hurley got the job at UConn.
“For me, when you grow up in the way I grew up, you want to go and challenge yourself all the time,” Dan Hurley said. “I want to be the college version of my dad. I want to coach with integrity, be a man of my word and have the holistic type of approach that my dad had, be a coach’s coach like my dad, not a phony or a fraud or a liar or a cheater.”