Saturday, May 18, 2024

Women’s college basketball: Former Parkway star Williams, LSU headed to Elite Eight

by Russell Hedges
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Former Parkway star Mikaylah Williams and her LSU teammates are headed to the Elite Eight.

Williams scored 12 points as No. 3 seed LSU defeated No. 2 UCLA 78-69 in the women’s NCAA Tournament Albany 2 Regional semifinals Saturday afternoon in Albany, N.Y.

LSU (31-5) plays No. 1 Iowa (32-4) Monday at 6:15 p.m. for a spot in the Final Four. The Hawkeyes defeated No. 5 Colorado 89-68 in the other semifinal behind star Caitlin Clark’s 29 points.

The game is a rematch of last year’s national championship game won by LSU 102-85. 

Williams, a freshman guard, was 6-of-13 from the field. She also had three rebounds and two assists.

Williams played 37 of the game’s 40 minutes, second to Flau’jae Johnson’s 39.

Johnson played a big role in the victory. She led the Tigers in points with 24 and rebounds with 12.

Aneesah Morrow scored 17 points. Angel Reese had 16 points and 11 rebounds.

LSU led 34-27 at the half. UCLA (27-7) rallied in the third quarter and the game was tied at 48 going into the fourth.

The Bruins led 67-64 with 2:51 left. But the Tigers closed the game with 14-2 run.

Reese made two free throws to give LSU a 68-67 lead with 1:46 left. Johnson hit two free throws to give the Tigers a 70-67 lead with 1:33 left.

After UCLA cut the lead to two, Johnson scored off a rebound to put LSU ahead 72-68 with 46 seconds left. 

Hailey Van Lith made four free throws down the stretch.

LSU shot 45.6 percent (26-of-57)  from the field. The Tigers were 2-of-5 from 3-point range.

UCLA shot. 35.7 percent (25-of-70). The Bruins put up 32 3-pointers and made seven.

LSU was 24-of-32 from the free throw line. UCLA was 12-of-18.

UCLA’s Lauren Betts, a 6-foot-7 center, had 14 points and 17 rebounds.

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