comscore Reese records 26th double-double of season as LSU advances to Elite Eight | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Reese records 26th double-double of season as LSU advances to Elite Eight

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                                LSU guard Flau’jae Johnson (4) and LSU forward Angel Reese (10) react during the fourth quarter.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    LSU guard Flau’jae Johnson (4) and LSU forward Angel Reese (10) react during the fourth quarter.

ALBANY, N.Y. >> 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 today 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 Iowa 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.

ALBANY REGIONAL 2

IOWA 89, COLORADO 68

ALBANY, N.Y. >> Caitlin Clark had 29 points and 15 assists to lead top-seeded Iowa to a win over fifth-seeded Colorado in the women’s NCAA Tournament, setting up a rematch of last year’s national title game against LSU.

The Tigers, who beat the Hawkeyes in the championship game a year ago, topped UCLA in today’s earlier semifinal in the Albany 2 Region. The teams will play Monday night.

Clark got the Hawkeyes (32-4) going early, driving to the basket for easy layups or throwing fantastic passes. About the only thing missing from Clark’s day was one of her signature midcourt logo shots. She took a couple, but missed.

The NCAA’s all-time Division I scoring leader has dazzled off the court as well. She’s a transcendent player who has brought record ratings and attendance to the sport. The sold-out crowd was filled with girls and boys wearing No. 22 Iowa shirts who cheered at every play their favorite player made.

PORTLAND REGIONAL 3

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 74, BAYLOR 70

PORTLAND, Ore. >> Freshman All-American JuJu Watkins drove the length of the floor for a go-ahead three-point play with 3:13 left and finished with 30 points, leading top-seeded Southern California past Baylor and into the Elite Eight of the women’s NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1994.

Watkins scored nine straight points for the Trojans in the closing minutes and powered a decisive 8-0 run. McKenzie Forbes added 14 points for USC (29-5), which will face third-seeded UConn on Monday in the Portland 3 Region final for a spot in the Final Four.

Sarah Andrews scored 17 points for Baylor (26-8), which was making its 20th straight March Madness appearance and was vying for its first Elite Eight spot since 2021, Kim Mulkey’s final season as coach of the Bears.

USC won national titles in 1983 and ‘84, but the Trojans’ deepest run in the tournament since was a regional final loss in 1994 under coach Cheryl Miller to Louisiana Tech.

Watkins surpassed Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell (873 points in 2014-15) for second on the all-time freshman scoring list. The 18-year-old Los Angeles native has 891 points, seven shy of the record set by San Diego State’s Tina Hutchinson in 1984.

UCONN 53, DUKE 45

PORTLAND, Ore. >> Paige Bueckers scored 24 points to lead third-seeded UConn and its injury-depleted roster back to the Elite Eight of the women’s NCAA Tournament with a victory over No. 7 seed Duke.

A year after having to watch March Madness while sidelined by a knee injury, Bueckers was again the best player on the floor, lifting the Huskies into their 28th regional final. And this one will be among the more unlikely in coach Geno Auriemma’s 39-year tenure.

UConn dressed eight players and played only six. But it still has Bueckers, the 2021 national player of the year who has returned to that form after injuries limited or sidelined her for most of the past two seasons.

The Huskies’ victory set up the matchup fans had anticipated since the brackets were released — top seed Southern California against the Huskies on Monday night with Bueckers squaring off against fabulous freshman JuJu Watkins.

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