The 2023 NCAA women’s basketball championships became a big topic on social media, but not for the skills and athleticism displayed during the match-up. On Sunday the LSU Tigers defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes 102-85.
The Tigers set a Women’s NCAA Tournament record for most points scored in a championship game.
Despite the Hawkeyes taking the lead in the early minutes of the game, the Tigers went on a 7-2 run to gain dominance. A key factor to the Tigers’ sound offense was senior guard Jasmine Carson who sank five three-pointers in the first half.
“I would definitely say this is the game of my life because I won the national championship on the biggest stage possible in college,” Carson said. “I wanted to do anything that my team needed in this game, whether it was defense, rebounding, anything supporting them.”
Carson led LSU with 22 points in the title bout, helping them score 32 points in the second quarter alone. She was one of three LSU players who scored at least 20 points.
Tigers senior guard Alexis Morris scored 21 points while earning nine assists. Final Four Most Outstanding Player award winner Angel Reese called Morris a “first rounder.”
“I told [Morris] “don’t turn on and off, you can kill every single possession that you can if you really want to,”” Reese said. “She just gets into a mode where she’s just unstoppable at some point and she played a great defensive game.”
Despite early foul trouble, Reese secured a double-double: 15 points and 10 rebounds. Reese averaged a double-double during the 2022-2023 season, securing one in each game of the tournament. She scored 34 points against Hawai’i and 24 rebounds in the second round against Michigan.
“The biggest goal for me is the national championship, I don’t care to be All-American, I don’t care to be Defensive Player of the Year,” Reese said. “At the end of the day, it’s a team effort and regardless, I’m gonna be me but I can’t do it without the girls here and I can’t do it without the rest of my teammates.”
Morris was tasked to defend Iowa stand-out junior guard Caitlin Clark, who led all scorers with 30 points.
“[Iowa] has great defensive schemes … you have to play to your strengths and your weaknesses,” Morris said. “I gave credit to them, they’re a great team, a great coaching staff, [Clark] is a great player.”
Regardless of the efforts these student athletes made, the topic of trash talk took center stage on social media. After Clark taunted previous opponents during March Madness, Reese came under fire for taunting Clark.
Questioning Reese’s character due to trash talk is an act of racism and sexism. Hall Of Famer Kevin Garnett is heralded for his expletive-laced insults to opponents. Two-time Super Bowl champ Von Miller dances after making sacks, he also gains pity from fans if he’s fined for his taunts.
Another sexist trope is when class and sportsmanship take priority over wins and losses in women’s sports. An example is when First Lady Jill Biden invited the runner-up Hawkeyes to The White House along with the Tigers.
“I’m going to tell [President Joe Biden] I think Iowa should come too, because they played such a good game,” Jill said.
Would she have made a similar request for LSU if Iowa won? Does she also desire to invite the San Diego State men’s basketball team to The White House after their 59-76 loss to UConn in the Men’s national championship game?