BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Angel Reese dismantled Michigan on both ends of the court with 25 points, 24 rebounds, six blocks and three steals to help third-seeded LSU beat the No. 6 seed Wolverines 66-42 Sunday night in the second round of the women’s NCAA Tournament.
Reese, a 6-foot-3 All-America forward, did most of her damage with gauze wedged under her upper lip after a shot to her mouth drew blood in the opening minutes of the game.
Alexis Morris scored 11 and LaDazhia Williams had 10 points and 10 rebounds for LSU (30-2), which never trailed and held Michigan (23-10) to its lowest point total of the season.
In just their second season under coach Kim Mulkey, the Tigers advanced past the second round of the tournament for the first time since 2014 and will meet second seed Utah in the Greenville 2 regional semifinal.
Laila Phelia scored 20 points for Michigan, which opened the second half with a 7-0 run to pull as close as eight points, but quickly went back down by double-digits for good after Reese’s layup and Kateri Poole’s 3.
Reese played with relentless determination, three times chasing driving Michigan players down the lane to swat their shots away from behind.
She was a menace to Michigan rebounders on both ends of the court. She grabbed 14 offensive rebounds. And after one, Emily Kiser was called for an intentional foul when she knocked Reese to the floor on a putback attempt.
LSU had 18 second-chance points to Michigan’s 2, and although both teams shot 35%, LSU got off 68 shots to Michigan’s 46.
Leading by only a few points early on, the Tigers took over in the second quarter. Jasmine Carson hit three 3s for LSU, which had missed its first eight from deep. Her third put LSU up 23-9, prompting Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico to call timeout.
That stunted LSU’s momentum only briefly before Reese scored LSU’s next seven points on a short jumper, a putback, an explosive drive to the hoop and a free throw to put the Tigers up 30-15 at halftime.
The first quarter was a defensive struggle in which both teams looked prepared to exert as much physical force as official would permit. Reese took an inadvertent shot to the mouth under the basket. She continued intermittently rubbing her lip and looking at her finger tips to check for blood for much the quarter. Later, she lost one of her eyelash extensions while tangled up inside with Kiser and Leigha Brown.
Reese delivered punishment, too, flattening Kiser on a drive down the lane. Kiser drew the charge, but stayed down for several moments, placing her hand on the part of her upper body that apparently took the blow, before teammates helped her up.
Michigan: After reaching the regional finals last season and and the regional semifinals in 2021, Michigan’s tournament ended in the second round for the first time since 2019. The Wolverines’ previous scoring low this season was 52 in a loss at Indiana on Feb. 16. They finished
LSU: Mulkey is now 3-0 against Barnes Arico in the NCAA Tournament, with each meeting coming since 2018 and two while Mulkey was at Baylor, where she won three national titles. Outrebounded Michigan 46-26.