Angel Reese receives taunts from Iowa’s Gabbie Marshall in final moments of LSU’s NCAA Tournament loss

Iowa senior Gabbie Marshall returned Angel Reese’s infamous taunt after waving goodbye to the LSU star near the end of Monday night’s Elite Eight NCAA Tournament showdown.  The Hawkeyes won the game, 94-87, and benefitted from Reese fouling out with 1:45 left, not the way she envisioned what’s likely her final college game ending as a reigning national champion.

Players say there’s no heated rivalry between Iowa and LSU, but the Hawkeyes and Tigers battled throughout the matchup with a trip to the Final Four on the line in a game that was in doubt until a scoring run in the third quarter via Caitlin Clark. Marshall, who played all 40 minutes in the game, is one of Iowa’s best on-ball defenders and drew LSU guard Flau’jae Johnson for much of the game. Johnson scored 23 points.

“I wanted this so bad,” Marshall said after the game. “I kept telling everyone that I’ve never wanted to win a game more in my career than I did tonight. And when I’m locked in, I’m locked in.”

Marshall scored three points, but Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said her impact went beyond the box score.

“I’m so glad that you noticed her because I think she doesn’t get enough credit for how hard she plays,” Bluder said, via Hawkeye Insider. “First of all, she is a sniper. She shoots one out of three tonight, it’s 50 percent adjusted, but she has two steals, she has a blocked shot. She’s the shortest person out there, and she has a blocked shot. She consistently guards the toughest person. She consistently gives it all she has defensively, whether it’s getting out and denying or understanding to get her hands up, something as simple as that.

“She is a great defensive player, and I’m so proud of her effort, and I’m glad that you recognized that, as well, so thank you.”

After scoring 17 points and pulling down 20 rebounds, Reese was emotional after the game and responded to criticism she’s received since being viewed as a villain following last season’s national championship win over the Hawkeyes.

“I just try to stand strong … I’ve been through so much, I’ve seen so much, I’ve been attacked so many times,” Reese said. “Death threats. I’ve been sexualized. I’ve been threatened. I’ve been so many things and I’ve stood strong every single time. And I just try to stand strong for my teammates because don’t want them to see me down and like, not be there for them. I just want them to always know, I’m still a human. All this has happened since I won the national championship and I said the other day I haven’t been happy since then.

“And it sucks, but I still wouldn’t change. I wouldn’t change anything. I would still here and say I’m unapologetically me. I’m always going to stand on that. Hopefully the little girls that look up to me know … it’s not this hard and all the things that come at you, but keep being who you are, staying motivated, don’t back down and just be confident.”

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