LSU Women’s Basketball Team Loses In Elite 8 Game

On Monday night, the LSU women’s basketball team faced off against the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Elite 8 round of the NCAA tournament in Albany, New York. The game was a highly anticipated rematch of last year’s NCAA Championship game, which saw LSU come out on top with a 102-85 victory over the Hawkeyes. However, as the two teams took to the court, there was a noticeable difference in their pre-game routines.

As the national anthem played, the Hawkeyes stood on the court holding hands, while the LSU team left the court to do their pre-game warmup. This action sparked controversy and confusion among viewers, with some questioning why the LSU team would not stand for the anthem. In an interview after the game, LSU coach Kim Mulkey explained that it was simply a part of their pre-game routine and not intentional disrespect towards the anthem.

Despite the pre-game controversy, the game itself proved to be a highly competitive and thrilling match-up. Both teams displayed impressive skills and determination, with the Iowa Hawkeyes ultimately coming out on top with a 94-87 victory over LSU. Leading the way for the Hawkeyes was star player Caitlin Clark, who scored an impressive 41 points and dished out 12 assists throughout the game.

“Honestly, I don’t even know when the anthem was played. We kind of have a routine where we are on the floor and then they come off at the 12-minute mark. … We come in and do our pre-game stuff. I’m sorry. Listen, that’s nothing intentionally done,” LSU coach Kim Mulkey said in an interview after the game. This statement further reinforces the pre-game routine explanation and clarifies that there was no malicious intent behind the team's actions.

This is not the first time that the LSU women’s team has been absent from the court during the playing of the national anthem. As sports reporter Chessa Bouche stated, “LSU is never on the court for the National Anthem. … If you ever go to an actual LSU game you’ll see that they’re never on the court for the anthem. It’s that simple.” This supports Mulkey’s explanation and further solidifies that this is a long-standing pre-game routine for the team.

Despite the controversy surrounding the pre-game actions, the focus should be on the impressive performance of both teams during the game. Iowa’s Caitlin Clark proved to be a dominant force on the court, scoring 41 points and solidifying her place as a “generational player,” according to Mulkey. LSU’s Angel Reese also showcased her skills, but ultimately fouled out in the fourth quarter, leaving her teammates to pick up the slack.

The game marked the fifth time this year that Clark has scored over 40 points, an impressive feat for any player. “She’s just a generational player, and she just makes everybody around her better,” Mulkey said of Clark. “What did I say to her? I said, I sure am glad you’re leaving. I said, Girl, you something else. Never seen anything like it.” This statement further highlights Clark’s exceptional talent and the impact she had on the game.

In contrast, LSU guard Hailey Van Lilth, who was tasked with guarding Clark, had nothing but praise for her opponent. “Caitlin’s very skilled,” Lilth stated. “She’s a great player. She hit some tough shots. There’s not a whole lot you can do about some of the threes she hit.” This speaks to the level of skill and sportsmanship showcased by both teams throughout the game.

In the end, the Iowa Hawkeyes emerged victorious, securing their spot in the Final Four and guaranteeing an exciting matchup in the next round. While the pre-game actions of the LSU women’s team may have caused controversy, it should not overshadow the impressive performance of the players on both teams. The focus should remain on the talent and determination displayed on the court, rather than any pre-game rituals or routines.

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