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LSU uses 22-3 run to open fourth, rip out heart of VA Tech

The No. 3 seed LSU Tigers turned an up-and-down game into dominance at the right time Friday night at the American Airlines Center in Dallas with a 79-72 victory over No. 1 seed Virginia Tech to advance to the national championship game. Hokies.

LSU started the fourth on a 22–3 run that gave it a 72–62 advantage. Alexis Morris went on a 5-0 personal run with a three more layup and then Angel Reese got the ball on the low block and you knew she was going to score easily, which she did with a layup. VA Tech’s Georgia Amur responded with a three, but then the Tigers scored nine more points. A Flauzay Johnson pick-6 gave them the lead, and then Katery Poole added a layup in transition to make it 66–62. A Johnson offensive rebound-turned-layup made it 72–62 with 3:04 remaining.

The Tigers led by at least six the rest of the way.

Reese finished with 24 points, 12 rebounds and three steals, while Morris had 27 points and LaDazia Williams had 16 points, seven boards and three steals.

Virginia Tech closed the first half on an 11–0 run to lead 34–32 at the break, and went on a 16–0 run in the third quarter to lead 39–32. It started with Elizabeth Kitley struggling to keep the ball down before getting up for a layup. Kayna Traylor got a steal near mid-court and took it for a layup the other way before burying a straight three that cut it in two.

Then after a Tiger timeout, Kitley blocked Reese and then hit from mid-range to tie the game. A trailer floater that went off the rim and backboard had the final say in the opening half.

Kela King opened the second half with a triple, and then Kitley closed out the run with a layup.

The Hokies cut the lead to 12 (on a king curl three) in the third, and nine entering the fourth. LSU was able to cut it to five twice in the third, but on one of those occasions, Poole was called for a technical foul immediately afterward and Amur made both free throws to make it a seven-point game again.

Traylor had a big third with a pick-6 that made it 53-43 and a mid-range swing around to make it 57-50.

The Tigers went on a 10–2 run to take a 32–23 lead. He got a 3-point trip when Williams missed his second free throw, but got the ball back to make the score 27–21. Morris capped off the run with a pull-up mid-range make from the left baseline.

LSU led 20–13 before a 6–0 Tech run cut it to 20–19. The Tigers also led 14–8 before Tech scored the first three plays on their seventh attempt to cut it to 14–11. Amur shot and it was his fifth attempt from the deep.

With the opening score 2–0 LSU, an LSU cheerleader, standing on the hands of another cheerleader, kept the ball from getting stuck behind the backboard.

Kitley finished with 18 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and seven blocks. Traylor added 17 points, nine boards and two steals.

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