Everything was going swimmingly for the LSU women’s basketball team in yesterday’s SEC Tournament semifinal match with Tennessee. That was until the Lady Vols flipped the script, erased a 17-point deficit, and bounced LSU out of the tournament 69-67.
An awful offensive output in the third quarter doomed the Tigers. LSU was outscored 21-11 in the third. Tennessee switched to a zone defense and for whatever reason LSU couldn’t crack the code.
“We came out the gate smoking,” Kim Mulkey said. “So we go against a zone. It’s not like we haven’t seen a zone this year. It was almost like we were just tired. No one flashed. No one moved. No one screened the zone. We had no dribble penetration to make two take you. We had no ball reversal, nothing. We just relied on the shot clock winding down, set a pick, jack a shot up.
“Was that fatigue? I don’t know. But we attack zones every day in practice and it affected us. Their press did not affect us; their zone affected us. We will continue as we prepare for the playoffs to attack zones.”
Angel Reese had 22 points, 11 rebounds which was good for her 28th double-double of the season. That breaks Sylvia Fowles single-season record. Reese knocked down six free throws, her 204th this season which also set a new single-season record. The previous record was held by Marree Jackson in the 1977-78 season.
With less than 15 seconds to play and LSU down one, Reese was driving to the hoop and a foul was called. When the whistle blew it felt like Reese was going to go to the line and shoot a pair of free throws to tie or take the lead, instead Reese was called for an offensive foul.
Angel Reese was called for an offensive foul on this play.— espnW (@espnW) March 5, 2023
Kim Mulkey was not happy. pic.twitter.com/HChJLQceSy
“I thought we were shooting two foul throws,” Mulkey said.
LSU will have an awful long time to stew on Saturday’s loss. The bracket will be announced next Sunday, March 12, and round one of the NCAA Tournament begins next Friday, March 17th. At 28-2 LSU should be locked into a two-seed and will get to host its first two games inside the PMAC assuming they advance to the Round of 32. Should they make it to the Sweet 16 they’ll play either in Seattle or head right back to Greenville.
This year’s Final Four is in Dallas.