History was made Sunday afternoon when the LSU Tigers brought home their first championship. In just her second year on the job, Coach Mulkey fulfilled her promise to the state of Louisiana. Mulkey has had successful careers with storied programs including Baylor (2000-2021) and Louisiana Tech (1986-2000), both national championship winners. With the Tigers’ 102-85 win over Iowa, Mulkey becomes 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 of two well-experienced programs and a pair of generational talents in Clark and Reese. Iowa entered the title game as the favorite, thanks to Caitlin Clark’s historic performances during the NCAA Tournament. Clark cements himself in the history books, setting a record for total points scored in a single men’s or women’s NCAA Tournament with 191.
“I don’t know if it’s the mere fact that we’re doing this in my second year at home. I don’t know if it was the fact that I’m home. I don’t know if I was looking the other way 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 back-to-back 41-point performances, including an upset over No. 1 South Carolina. In the first half, Clark chipped in 16 points, but it was Jasmine Carson who stole the show. As Reese headed to the bench after her second foul, Carson erupted and hit multiple 3-pointers, including a toot, to give the Tigers a 17-point lead at halftime. Despite the Tigers’ 17-point lead, the Hawkeyes mounted a spirited second-half comeback, but fell just short. In the end, Trainer Mulkey’s championship pedigree served as the difference maker. The Tigers shot 54%, including 65% from three, as their bench outscored the Hawkeyes 30-8.