The Jackson State women nearly made history as it stood on the verge of an upset against No. 3 seed LSU. The JSU women let a ten point lead slip away in the final quarter losing to LSU 83-77.
Jackson State (23-7) drew first blood on Saturday against LSU (26-5) with an opening layup by Miya Crump. But the No. 3 seed quickly responded with a 9-0 run forcing a JSU timeout at the 5:31 mark of the first quarter. JSU was 1-9 from the floor to open the game. Jackson State settled down after the timeout and responded with a 5-0 run trimming the lead down to 9-7.
Ameshya Williams-Holliday didn’t take her first shot attempt until the final minute of the first quarter. Her layup and first points cut the LSU lead to 16-14 where the score stood at the end of the quarter.
JSU remained within striking distance halfway through the second quarter even tying the game on two occasions. A layup by Williams-Holliday tied it at 19 at the 7:06 mark of the quarter. Ti’lan Boler would tie it again at 21 on a jump shot.
After that LSU would go on a 20-8 run to push the lead up to 41-28 at halftime. Jailin Cherry exploded for 18 points in the half and several layups in transition during that run.
Technical fires up Jackson State
Things took a turn for Jackson State after head coach Tomekia Reed picked up a technical foul early in the third quarter with her team trailing by 17 points. JSU went on a 10-0 run to trim the lead down to 47-40. Back to back three pointers from Keshuna Luckett and Miya Crump keyed the run.
The three point shot continued to serve Jackson State well when back to back threes tied the game at 52 all. Dayzsha Rogan and Covington hit from distance to put the LSU team and fans on their heels. A Daja Woodard layup gave Jackson State its first lead of the game since it was 2-0, at 54-52. As Woodard yelled headed back up the court she was hit with a technical foul by the officials.
Jackson State pushed the lead up to four points in the closing seconds of the third quarter until Williams-Holliday fouled LSU’s Alexis Morris while shooting a three pointer. Morris hit all three free throws to trim the lead to 58-57. Jackson State outscored LSU 30-16 in the third quarter.
Final Fourth Quarter run
In the fourth quarter the Jackson State run continued as it pushed the lead up to six points. Miya Crump made two of three free throws after being fouled on a three point shot to make it a 66-60 game with 6:52 to go.
With 5:28 remaining Jackson State pushed the lead up to eight points on a jumper by Covington that followed. Two free throws by Crump made it a ten point lead at 74-64.
LSU turned up the defense and responded with a 13-0 run to retake the lead 77-74 after forcing consecutive turnovers with its full court pressure.
Jackson State missed an opportunity during the run to stop the bleeding when the officials called a delay of game technical foul on LSU, giving Jackson State two free throws and the ball. Jackson State was leading 74-72 at the time. Crump missed both free throws and a shot by Williams-Holliday was blocked.
JSU fought back to tie the game at 77 with 1:10 remaining when Woodard rebounded a missed free throw for a put back bucket. But LSU came back and answered with a dagger three pointer from Khalya Pointer to retake the lead at 80-77 with 49 seconds remaining.
A No. 14 seed has never defeated a No. 3 seed in the NCAA women’s tournament.
Crump led JSU with 21 points. Williams-Holliday contributed 15 points and 12 rebounds. JSU shot a blistering 53 percent on three pointers, going 8-15 from the floor. Jackson State shot 25-68 overall for 36 percent. They were 19-29 on free throws.
Khayla Pointer had 26 for LSU, followed by Jailin Cherry with 24 points.