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LSU's repeat bid ends with Elite Eight loss to Iowa - ESPN

ALBANY, N.Y. — Flau'jae Johnson bends over and stretches her legs as the crowd roars its approval of more Iowa free throws. She stands up with a deep breath as reality sets in that the LSU Tigers' hopes for a repeat national championship are over. The clock indicates 14.2 seconds remain in Monday's regional final, but LSU is down by 10 points, and star forward Angel Reese is on the bench after fouling out with 1:45 to go.

Johnson grabs the rebound after an Iowa miss, runs down court and hits a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to seven points. But it's over. As the clock hits zero, she walks off the court, lifts the bottom of her jersey to her lips and bites down on it as she stands in the front of the handshake line. In her periphery, the Hawkeyes celebrate, bathing in the glory of a return to the Final Four, of avenging their title game loss to LSU last season in the NCAA tournament.

Johnson, who puts up a team-high 23 points, gets to the end of the line. The guard pauses, gazing out into the crowd with an unreadable look on her face. She turns away and heads off the court, back down the tunnel with the rest of her team.

LSU fell to Iowa 94-87 in the Elite Eight. Reese appeared to twist her ankle early in the second quarter. The Tigers shot 38.6% from the floor and just 8-of-24 from beyond the arc. The crowd in Albany was tilted against them. And, ultimately, the Tigers had absolutely no answer for Caitlin Clark, who tallied 41 points, 12 assists and 7 rebounds.

«It kind of felt like we were losing all game,» Tigers guard Hailey Van Lith says. «From the start, we didn't do what we needed to do.»

The loss put a cap on a season full of adversity. Make that a year. Before the Tigers even walked off the court following their

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