From the gates, Rutgers jumped to a 12-2 lead and never looked back. In the first half, utilizing great ball movement, athleticism, and shot selection offensively, and hustle and tenacity defensively, Rutgers took a 37-19 lead after 20-minutes. Matee Ajavon (16 points) and Essence Carson (15 points) fueled the early blitz.
In the second half, Rutgers received a scare, as Carson landed awkwardly and had to be removed for the remainder of the game. She was later determined to be suffering from a leg cramp and will be available for the championship game on Tuesday. Rutgers went in to a slow it down mode, running the clock with each possession, yet getting off quality shots. They also maintained the intensity defensively. While LSU tried to make a run, they could not cut the lead below 12 points.
Overall, Rutgers was just phenomenal tonight. They played its' vintage physical play. They were lights out with running their offensive sets. They shot the basketball incredibly well- 80% from 3-point range in the first half. Defensively, they forced LSU to 10 turnovers and 26.8% from the floor. They also out-rebounded LSU by 38-28. LSU's 35-point total is the lowest in Final Four History.
In this NCAA tournament, Rutgers has now been extremely impressive with three consecutive upset victories: a thrilling 1-point win over the #1 team in the nation, the Duke Blue Devils, while now throttling their last two opponents in #8 Arizona State and #10 LSU. They will most likely be the underdog in the championship game, but with the way the Lady Knights are playing, don't be surprised if they pull off one more upset and bring a national championship to the Banks of the Old Raritan.