(CNN) The LSU Tigers defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes 102-85 on Sunday to win their first-ever NCAA Women’s Basketball National Championship in Dallas, Texas.
LSU shot 58% from the field in the first half, including 75% from three-point range.
The Tigers’ 59 first-half points set a new record for most points scored in a first half in a women’s championship game and gave LSU a 17-point lead heading into the locker room.
The Tigers’ first-half barrage was kicked off by Jasmine Carson, who came off the bench to score 21 points for LSU in the first half, including five of five three-pointers. Carson finished with 22 points to lead the Tigers.
After the game, Carson described the game as “surreal”.
“Every player dreams of being on a big stage like this and having the game of your life, and it coming to fruition — it meant a lot,” she said.
LSU’s points also set a new record for most points scored by a team in a women’s championship game.
Iowa star Caitlin Clark led all scorers with 30 points in the game, setting a new record for most points scored in the women’s tournament in the process with 191 points. The 2023 National Player of the Year broke the previous women’s record of 177 points set by Cheryl. Swoopes in 1993 playing for Texas Tech. Swoopes set the record for playing in five games compared to Clark’s total of six.
Hall of Fame inductee Kim Mulkey was emotional during the final seconds of the game as she captured LSU’s first women’s basketball championship in only her second year at the helm of the Tigers.
“Coaches are for life and this is the fourth time I’ve been blessed,” Mulkey, after winning her fourth NCAA Women’s National Basketball Championship after winning three times during her time at Baylor, told ESPN.
“Never in the history of LSU basketball, men and women, have they played to and won a championship, I think my tears are tears of joy. I’m so happy for everyone in Louisiana.”
The Tigers became the third third-ranked team to win the title and the first since 1997.
A crowd of 19,482 turned out to watch LSU win; According to the NCAA, more than 350,000 turned out to watch the March Madness women’s tournament which is a record for the competition.
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