Home News Flau’jae Johnson, Angel Reese lead defending champion LSU past UCLA to reach...

Flau’jae Johnson, Angel Reese lead defending champion LSU past UCLA to reach Elite Eight


ALBANY — Flau’jae Johnson had 24 points and 12 rebounds, Angel Reese put up her 26th double-double of the season and LSU beat UCLA 78-69 in the Sweet 16 on Saturday to continue its quest for a second straight national title.

Reese had 16 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out late in the game for the Tigers, who closed the game on a 14-2 run. Aneesah Morrow had 17 points and Mikaylah Williams added 12.

LSU advanced to the Elite Eight, where it will face either Iowa or Colorado in Monday night’s regional final.

Lauren Betts had 14 points and 17 rebounds for UCLA, which finished the season at 27-7. Londynn Jones and Gabriela Jaquez also had 14 points apiece and Kiki Rice scored 13 for the Bruins.

LSU led by seven points at halftime, but after making just two of their first 20 shots from 3-point range, the Bruins hit four of their next five.

Consecutive 3-pointers from Jones keyed an 11-2 run that gave UCLA the lead at 45-44, and the teams were tied at 48 headed into the fourth quarter.

But the Tigers closed the game on a run of their own after trailing 67-64 with 2:46 left.

Johnson had two early 3-pointers in the first half. Her spinning baseline drive and layup highlighted an 8-0 LSU spurt that put the Tigers up 25-18.

The Bruins made just one of 16 shots from behind the arc before Jones’ 3-pointer from the left wing just before the halftime buzzer. That ended an 8-0 LSU run and cut what had been a 10-point lead to 34-27.

The game was played hours after The Washington Post released a much-anticipated story about LSU coach Kim Mulkey, over which she had threatened legal action, warning it would be a “hit piece.” Instead, it was a profile highlighting both positive and negative aspects of her career and describing her as a colorful personality who “wears feathers almost as dramatically as she ruffles them.”

She wore a loud, multicolored sparkling print suit on Saturday.


LSU: The Tigers are looking to become the first repeat champion since UConn won its fourth straight in 2016.

UCLA: The Bruins have made 19 NCAA Tournaments and have been in the Sweet 16 nine times, including three in the last four years. But they have advanced to just two regional finals.


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