LSU forward Angel Reese (10) and Michigan guard Leigha Brown (32) vie for the ball during the first half of a second-round college basketball game in the women's NCAA Tournament in Baton Rouge, La., Sunday, March 19, 2023. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

LSU and Utah to Battle for a Spot in the NCAA Women’s Elite Eight

No.3 seed LSU takes on No.2 seed Utah in the Sweet 16 round of the women’s NCAA tournament Friday night at 5 p.m. The Tigers come into this match up after a dominant 66-42 victory over Michigan while the Utes narrowly escaped Princeton in a 63-56 victory.

Last Time Out: LSU

On Monday night, Angel Reese, who is otherwise known as the Bayou Barbie, led her team to victory by putting up her 30th double-double of the year. The sophomore transfer from Maryland has been phenomenal in her first season, averaging 23.8 points and 15.7 rebounds per game. On Sunday, she made her presence known on both ends of the court putting up 25 points, 24 rebounds, six blocks, four assists and three steals. Her efforts, combined with those of the rest of her team, held Michigan to their lowest point total this season (42).

Last Time Out: Utah

Utah played a close game with Princeton, but ultimately Alissa Pili’s 28-point 10-rebound double-double led the Utes to victory. Pili, a second team all-American, leads the team in scoring and rebounding, averaging 21.0 and 5.6 per game, respectively. In the final 6:24 of the game, the Utes were unable to post a field goal, but still prevailed despite the defensive efforts of Princeton.

What’s Next

The winner of this game will advance to the Elite Eight where they will take on the winner of Miami vs. Villanova. This game will be an offensive battle as Utah is ranked third in points per game while LSU is ranked fifth. Both teams also post impressive point differentials with Utah outscoring opponents by an average of 17.5 points per game and LSU outscoring opponents by an average of 26.2 points per game.

To see success, the Utes will need to stay hot at the free-throw line after going 28-37 against Princeton, and bounce back from their unusual below-average offensive performance. On the other hand, the Tigers will need to see strong, impactful performances from other players besides Reese if they want to advance.

About Shelby Hickman

Shelby Hickman is a student at the University of Florida studying journalism with a specialization in sports and media.

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