LSU guard Alexis Morris watched how Iowa star Caitlin Clark sagged off, and at different moments of the game, did not guard South Carolina’s Raven Johnson during the Hawkeyes’ Final Four win against the Gamecocks on Friday night and immediately thought that the Big Ten program wouldn’t be able to do the same against the Tigers.
Morris, who thrives in transition play and knocking down mid-range jumpers, told reporters on Saturday that Iowa’s defensive strategy against South Carolina will not work Sunday when the Hawkeyes face the Tigers in the women’s national championship game. Even more, Morris spoke confidently about Iowa having to “guard” her and her teammates in the game.
“I don’t think they can guard us that way,” Morris said. “I don’t think you can just leave me open on the perimeter or leave us open on the perimeter. Me personally, I find it very disrespectful, so I’m going to take that personally going into that game. You’re going to have to guard us. That’s just the competitor in me, and the will to win.”
Iowa is savage pic.twitter.com/NIyDNXhHB1— CJ Fogler account may or may not be notable (@cjzero) April 1, 2023
According to HerHoopStats, LSU ranks No. 72 in the country in three-point percentage (33.7%) and 180th in the country in three-pointers made. However, LSU scores a majority of its points from inside the arc as the Tigers are second in the nation in two-pointers made (874), 40th in two-point percentage (49.8%) and second in free throws made this season.
In comparison, South Carolina sits at No. 171 in the nation in three-point percentage (31%) and No. 209 in three-pointers made this season, per HHS.
Given the differences between the two SEC teams, Clark admitted to reporters that the Hawkeyes’ plan to slow down LSU will not be the same as it was when guarding South Carolina.
“Obviously, with South Carolina, you’ve got to pick your poison,” the Iowa star said. “If they were going to beat us, we were going to let it be by the 3-point line. … We can't guard everything. ... You know player personnel. … That’s what we were going to give up. We had all the respect in the world for South Carolina, and especially their post play.”
This season, Morris is averaging 15.2 points, 2.9 rebounds and 4.0 assists while shooting 42.9% from the floor. However, in LSU’s last two games, the Tigers second-leading scorer recorded 21 points against Miami in the Elite Eight and 27 in the Final Four win against Virginia Tech on Friday.
Both Iowa and LSU will be seeking to win their program’s first women’s basketball national championship when taking the court on Sunday. Tip-off is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET.