LSU women's basketball vs. Utah: Score prediction, scouting report for Sweet 16 matchup
It's possible that 200 points could be scored between LSU women's basketball and Utah during their Sweet 16 showdown in the NCAA Tournament.
The 2-seed Utes (27-4) and 3-seed Tigers (30-2) come in third and fifth, respectively, in the nation in scoring, separated by just 0.3 points per game at 83.5 and 83.2. Kim Mulkey's squad has actually scored 75 more total points this season but has played one more game than Lynne Roberts' club.
Which offense is more potent will be settled inside the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina, on Friday afternoon (4 p.m., ESPN).
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Angel Reese vs. Alissa Pili in March Madness' Sweet 16
When you talk about both the Tigers and Utes offenses, the conversations begin with sophomore forward Angel Reese for LSU and junior forward Alissa Pili for Utah.
Reese averages more points at 23.8 than Pili at 21, but they both are among the top-13 scorers in women's college basketball.
Defense and rebounds may determine the matchup's outcome. Reese holds a resounding statistical advantage in rebounding at 10 more per game than Pili. Shot-blocking should come in play, and Reese has more than double the blocks on the season (51 compared to 22).
Coach of the year candidates Kim Mulkey, Lynne Roberts square off
Roberts has guided Utah to back-to-back 20-win seasons and just the program's third Sweet 16 appearance. The Utes won the Pac-12 regular season championship, went 6-3 against top 25 opponents, but were upset by Washington State in the second round of the conference tournament.
In her second season in Baton Rouge, Mulkey has matched some of the program's best records and broke LSU's nine-year drought of Sweet 16 berths. Mulkey won the Associated Press Coach of the Year award last season, leading the Tigers to 26 wins and the NCAA Tournament second round.
Supporting cast will be key in LSU women's basketball-Utah matchup
What each team gets out of the players surrounding Reese and Pili will determine how the game will go.
LSU senior point guard Alexis Morris and freshman sensation Flau'jae Johnson have had inconsistent performances so far during the NCAA Tournament. Morris has yet to really get going while Johnson opened with a great performance against Hawaii but sputtered against Michigan.
Utah has gotten up and down outings from guard Gianna Kneepkens but Pili's fellow forward Jenna Johnson has played solidly through two games. Going deeper than that, LSU has been able to spread out the scoring more.
LSU women vs. Utah in Sweet 16: Score prediction
LSU 82 Utah 78: Mulkey's bunch has played some of its best defense of late, and that'll be just enough to power the Tigers to the Elite Eight.
Cory Diaz covers the LSU Tigers and Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns for The Daily Advertiser as part of the USA TODAY Network. Follow his Tigers and Cajuns coverage on Twitter: @ByCoryDiaz. Got questions regarding LSU/UL athletics? Send them to Cory Diaz at email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on Lafayette Daily Advertiser: LSU women's basketball vs. Utah in Sweet 16: Score prediction