Jasmine Carson entered Sunday’s national championship game for the first time with 2:02 left in the first quarter and the game tied at 20. The LSU guard had a rebound and five points by the time the quarter ended.
She then took over in the second quarter.
She played the entire period, knocking down four 3-pointers and making all six shots she took. Over the whole first half, Carson outscored Iowa star Caitlin Clark 21-16 and went 7-of-7 from the field.
That's the tweet. pic.twitter.com/tMQvdEPd74
— ESPN (@espn) April 2, 2023
“She hit her first few shots, and Iowa called a timeout,” teammate Alexis Morris said while discussing Carson’s performance after the game. “I said, ‘Stay right there. Stay locked in. Whatever head space you’re in, do not check out. Just stay ready.’ She gave us a huge spark off the bench tonight. She was the game-changer tonight.”
Carson’s final shot of the half was a buzzer-beater that sent the Tigers to the locker room with a 59-42 lead.
JASMINE CARSON ARE YOU SERIOUS⁉️
BANK SHOT AT THE BUZZER FOR A 21-POINT HALF! pic.twitter.com/H4fDyBOPzH
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 2, 2023
Carson finished the night with team-high 22 points on 7-of-8 shooting as LSU captured the first national championship in program history with a 102-85 victory in Dallas. The Tigers set a new record for the most points scored in a women’s Final Four game.
“I would definitely say this is the game of my life because I won a national championship on the biggest stage possible in college,” Carson said in the postgame press conference. “But when I woke up, I just wanted to win. I wanted to do anything that my team needed in this game, whether it was defense, rebounding, just anything, supporting them. I scored tonight, and that’s what pushed us and got us momentum, and I’m just proud of my teammates.”
One of the many new faces who arrived at LSU this season, Carson spent the past four years at Georgia Tech and West Virginia. She started 30 of LSU’s first 31 games and was fifth on the team in scoring at 8.8 points per game, but came off the bench for the final five games of the NCAA Tournament. She was scoreless in the three games leading up to Sunday, and she’d only reached the 20-point mark three times this season.
Carson told the media Sunday she came to LSU to learn from Hall of Fame coach Kim Mulkey, and she praised God for the journey she’s been on.
“I’ve been working hard my whole life,” she said. “I came to LSU just to contribute and win a national title and play under a Hall of Fame coach and play with great players. Hard work pays off, and God is great. Everybody’s journey is different, and you should just embrace your journey. I couldn’t have wanted a better ending than for it to end like this.”
She also praised God in a tweet Sunday night celebrating the national championship.
IM A NATIONAL CHAMPION!!!!!!GOD IS GREAT!!!!
— Jasmine Carson⛈ (@JazzC2_) April 2, 2023
Carson has referenced her faith in social media posts before. On Instagram she calls herself a “Child of God,” and on Twitter her banner image says, “God is leading you somewhere. No matter how happy or sad you are. No matter what’s going on in your life, everything is the way it is for a reason. Have faith in His plan. God’s got you.”
Anything God has for you is for you & no one can take it away! Keep going!!
— Jasmine Carson⛈ (@JazzC2_) February 6, 2023
After playing out her college career with faith in His plan, God led Carson into the spotlight Sunday night in her final collegiate game.
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