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LSU defeats Rainbow Wahine in NCAA Tournament’s first round

ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                LSU guard Flau’jae Johnson (4) blocks a shot by Hawaii guard Meilani McBee (23) during the first half of a first-round college basketball game in the women’s NCAA Tournament in Baton Rouge, La., today. LSU won, 73-50.
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ASSOCIATED PRESS

LSU guard Flau’jae Johnson (4) blocks a shot by Hawaii guard Meilani McBee (23) during the first half of a first-round college basketball game in the women’s NCAA Tournament in Baton Rouge, La., today. LSU won, 73-50.

ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                Hawaii coach Laura Beeman reacts during the first half of the team’s first-round college basketball game against LSU in the women’s NCAA Tournament in Baton Rouge, La., today.
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Hawaii coach Laura Beeman reacts during the first half of the team’s first-round college basketball game against LSU in the women’s NCAA Tournament in Baton Rouge, La., today.

ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                LSU forward Angel Reese (10) shoots against Hawaii forward Imani Perez (12) during the first half of a first-round college basketball game in the women’s NCAA Tournament in Baton Rouge, La., today.
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ASSOCIATED PRESS

LSU forward Angel Reese (10) shoots against Hawaii forward Imani Perez (12) during the first half of a first-round college basketball game in the women’s NCAA Tournament in Baton Rouge, La., today.

ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                LSU guard Flau’jae Johnson (4) blocks a shot by Hawaii guard Meilani McBee (23) during the first half of a first-round college basketball game in the women’s NCAA Tournament in Baton Rouge, La., today. LSU won, 73-50.
ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                Hawaii coach Laura Beeman reacts during the first half of the team’s first-round college basketball game against LSU in the women’s NCAA Tournament in Baton Rouge, La., today.
ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                LSU forward Angel Reese (10) shoots against Hawaii forward Imani Perez (12) during the first half of a first-round college basketball game in the women’s NCAA Tournament in Baton Rouge, La., today.

Angel Reese scored 34 points to lead LSU past Hawaii 73-50 in an NCAA Women’s Tournament first-round game today at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge, La.

Reese, who leads the nation with 29 double-doubles, also had 15 rebounds.

Daejah Phillips and Kallin Spiller led the Wahine with 13 points each and Lily Wahinekapu added 11 as Hawaii lost in the NCAA Tournament’s first round for the second year in a row.

Flau’jae Johnson added 10 points for LSU.

The 14th-seeded Wahine (18-15) represented the Big West after winning their second consecutive conference tournament. The third-seeded Tigers (29-2) advance to play Michigan on Sunday.

>> PHOTOS: Hawaii vs. LSU

Wahinekapu scored nine of her points in the first half. Her 3-pointer put Hawaii ahead at the outset, but LSU went on a 12-0 run, resulting in an 18-7 first-quarter lead for the hosts.

UH settled down after eight turnovers in the first period, and closed to 29-22 on Meilani McBee’s 3-pointer with 2:33 left before halftime. But the Tigers scored six straight to expand the margin to 35-22 at halftime, behind Reese’s 14 points and seven rebounds before intermission.

Another McBee bomb opened the second-half scoring, but LSU kept control and led 48-33 going into the fourth quarter.

The Tigers stretched the lead to 58-35 early in the final period to put the game away.

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