March Madness

No. 3 LSU Advances to First National Title Game With Comeback Win Over No. 1 Virginia Tech

Angel Reese and Alexis Morris combined for 51 of their team’s 79 points in the come-from-behind win


In a game of runs, No. 3 LSU got the last laugh, beating No. 1 Virginia Tech 79-72 in the Final Four at American Airlines Center in Dallas on Friday. The victory punched the Tigers’ first-ever ticket to a national championship game. 

The Tigers stumbled throughout the second and third quarters, even finding themselves down 12 points at one point, but pressed on and put up a fourth quarter performance for the ages to pull out the win.

From the opening tip, it was clear the first Final Four matchup of the day was going to be a battle of star pairings. 

For Virginia Tech, 6-foot-6 forward Elizabeth Kitley and 5-foot-6 guard Georgia Amoore teamed up for 18 of their team’s 34 first-half points. However, it was guard Kayana Traylor who made the biggest splash early on, scoring seven points in the final 3:02 minutes of play as part of an 11-0 Virginia Tech run to close out the half. 

The halftime break didn’t seem to disrupt the Hokies’ momentum as they opened the third quarter on a 16-7 run to extend their lead to 39-51. That run included a 3-pointer from Amoore, her 23rd of the tournament, a March Madness single-season record. 

Throughout this run, LSU guard Alexis Morris was single-handedly keeping her team in the fight, accounting for 16 of her team’s first 39 points. Midway through the third quarter, Angel Reese knocked down back-to-back layups, cutting the deficit to single digits and the comeback was on.

LSU outscored Virginia Tech 29-13 throughout the final 10 minutes of play, including a three-minute stretch where the Tigers recorded 10 unanswered points.

Morris and Reese combined for 51 of their team’s 79 points while Amoore, Kitley and Traylor combined for 52 of their 72 points.

While this might be unfamiliar territory for the Tigers, this is head coach Kim Mulkey’s comfort zone. 

Prior to joining LSU in 2021, Mulkey spent 21 seasons at Baylor, leading the Bears to four Final Fours and three national championships, placing her in a tie with Stanford Tara VanDerveer for the third-most titles. 

She’ll have a chance to add to that total and deliver LSU its first-ever national championship on Sunday when the Tigers take on the winner of Friday’s second game between No. 2 Iowa and No. 1 South Carolina. 

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