NCAA Women's championship score: LSU uses shooting, size and foul trouble to roll past Caitlin Clark, Iowa
The Tigers set a record for the most points in a women's national championship game to bring a title back to Baton Rouge for the first time
LSU is bringing a national championship trophy back to Baton Rouge after a 102-85 win over Iowa thanks to a first-half onslaught led by an unlikely star: Jasmine Carson. The West Virginia grad transfer scored 21 off the benchs over the opening 20 minutes, going a perfect 7-for-7 from the field and 5-for-5 from 3-point range, to help build a 17-point lead even Caitlin Clark and Iowa couldn't come back from.
The Hawkeyes fought back in the second half, going on a 15-2 run in the third quarter, but foul trouble for Clark and Monika Czinano left them without enough offensive firepower to complete what would've been the biggest comeback in NCAA Tournament history. Instead, LSU went on to claim its first ever national title. The Tigers' 102 points marked the most ever in a women's basketball national championship game.
LSU's triumph bolstered the already legendary resume of coach Kim Mulkey. The 60-year-old is now one of only three coaches with four or more national titles (Geno Auriemma, Pat Summit), and she's the first coach to win it all leading two different programs. This title has to be one of Mulkey's most gratifying, as the Tigers went 9-13 in 2020-21, the season before she took over.
While LSU had a historic offensive performance and Clark was her typical record-breaking self (more on her in a moment),. Most notably, Clark was assessed a technical foul – giving her four personal fouls – for rolling a ball down the court late in the third quarter, but Mulkey made contact with an official and was not penalized. Czinano fouled out with 6:25 left in the fourth after numerous questionable calls as well.
Clark may not be a national champion, but her unforgettable NCAA Tournament run cemented her place as one of the greatest players the college game has ever seen. The 2023 Naismith Player of the Year scored 30 points and drained a national championship game-record eight 3-pointers against LSU, dishing out eight assists as well. Clark set NCAA Tournament records in points (191), assists (60) and 3-pointers (37). She also recordedin the Elite Eight, and in the Final Four she scored 41 to become the only player to have .
Carson gave LSU the spark it needed in the first half, but she scored only one point over the final 20 minutes – an output much more representative of her NCAA Tournament. The Memphis native struggled mightily this tournament, going 4-for-21 from the field and failing to score in the three games leading into the national title game, but she came through when it mattered most.
Along with Carson, LSU had two other 20-point scorers in Alexis Morris and LaDazhia Williams. Morris scored 21 points on 8-for-13 from the field, adding a game-high nine assists. Williams scored 20 to go along with five rebounds and three steals.
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