Pointer fuels LSU's 83-77 comeback win over Jackson State
Sat, Mar 19, 2022
NCAAB News (AP)
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Khayla Pointer capped a 26-point performance with a tiebreaking 3-pointer in the final minute, and No. 3 seed LSU rallied from 10 points down in the final 4:42 to outlast Jackson State 83-77 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday.
Jailin Cherry scored 24 for LSU (26-5), hitting several key baskets during a stirring comeback that halted Jackson State's winning streak at 21 and prevented what was nearly the first victory by a No. 14 seed or a Southwestern Athletic Conference team in the women's NCAA Tournament.
Miya Crump scored 21 points for Jackson State (23-7), which erased a 17-point deficit in the third quarter and pulled further ahead in the fourth. Ameshya Williams-Holliday also had 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Jackson State had tied the game at 77 when Daja Woodard put back Keshuna Luckett's missed free throw with 1:10 to go.
As time ran out, Hall of Fame coach Kim Mulkey, who left Baylor to oversee a remarkable turnaround for LSU, hugged Jackson State coach Tomekia Reed and appeared to tell her, "I don't know how we won."
Faustine Aifuwa had 17 points and 14 rebounds for LSU, which made six of its last eight shots after having missed 15 of 18 right before its final, game-flipping flourish.
The Tigers appeared to be in control in the third quarter when Pointer hit a layup, followed shortly after by two free throws, to give LSU its largest lead at 47-30. But Jackson State responded with 10 straight points that included Luckett's second-chance layup and her 3 after Pointer's turnover.
Pointer briefly stemmed the tide with a layup, but Jackson State didn't let up and eventually took a 54-52 lead with an 8-0 run that began with 3s by Rogan and Covington and a layup by Woodard.
LSU guard Alexis Morris, playing for the first time in three games because of a Feb. 24 knee sprain, cut Jackson State's lead to 58-57 at the end of the third by making three free throws after being fouled along the perimeter by Williams-Holliday.
The game was tied at 21 in the middle of the second quarter when Faustine Aifuwa's putback ignited a 20-7 run to finish the half. Cherry scored eight straight during the surge, with Pointer setting up two of those baskets in transition. LSU was ahead 41-28 at halftime.
Jackson State: After having made eight of 11 shots - including four 3s - between late in the third quarter through the middle of the fourth, Jackson State missed eight of its last nine shots. It was a critical cold spell that could haunt the team for quite some time. SWAC teams fell to 0-30 in the women's NCAA Tournament.
LSU: Outscored Jackson State 40-26 in the paint and turned 15 turnovers into 18 points. LSU also outshot Jackson State overall, 40.5% (30 of 74) to 36.8% (25 of 68), despite going just 2 of 9 from 3-point range.
LSU meets No. 6 seed Ohio State on Monday night. The Buckeyes beat Missouri State 63-56 earlier Saturday.
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