History was made Sunday afternoon when the LSU Tigers brought home their first championship. In just his second year on the job, Coach Mulkey made good on his promise to Louisiana State. Mulkey had successful stints with notable programs, including Baylor (2000-2021) and Louisiana Tech (1986-2000), both winning National Championships. With the Tigers’ 102-85 win over Iowa, Mulkey became the first women’s college basketball coach to lead multiple teams to national championships (Baylor, Louisiana Tech, LSU). The LSU-Iowa game was a matchup between two well-seasoned programs and a pair of generational talents in Clark and Reese. Iowa entered the title game as the favorite thanks to Kaitlyn Clark’s historic performances during the NCAA Tournament. Clark cemented herself in the history books by setting the record for total points scored in an NCAA Tournament by a man or a woman with 191.
“I don’t know if it’s just the fact that we’re doing this in my second year back home. I don’t know if it was the fact that I was at home. I don’t know if it was looking at my daughter and my grandchildren. So that should tell you what I think about it. Very, very emotional and tears of joy.” – Coach Kim Mulkey
This included a 41-point performance, including an upset of No. 1 South Carolina. Clark scored 16 points in the first half, but it was Jasmine Carson who stole the show. With Reese headed to the bench after his second foul, Carson erupted, hitting several 3-pointers, including a layup, to give the Tigers a 17-point lead at halftime. Despite leading the Tigers by 17 points, the Hawkeyes mounted a spirited comeback in the second half, but were unable to do so. In the end, Coach Mulkey’s championship pedigree served as the difference. The Tigers shot 54%, including 65% from three, while their bench outscored the Hawkeyes 30-8.