The LSU Tigers’ hopes of continuing March Madness ended with Iowa’s 94-87 win over LSU in the Elite Eight on Monday. Sophomore guard Flau’jae Johnson proudly defended her teammate Angel Reese after she became emotional over critics’ comments following the game. 

The season for the Tigers ends with this loss to Iowa. Their record at the end of the season is 31-6, according to the ESPN.

Reese and Iowa’s Caitlin Clark, two trailblazers in the women’s college basketball movement, were in the game. Naturally, there was a lot of buzz around the rematch in the history of women’s collegiate basketball.

During the postgame press conference, Johnson addressed how Reese is misunderstood and villainized by the media.

“Everybody can have their opinion on Angel Reese, but y’all don’t know her,” 20-year-old Johnson said during a postgame press conference in Albany. “Y’all don’t know Angel Reese. I know Angel Reese. I know the real Angel Reese and the person I see every day is a strong person, is a caring, loving person.”

A teary Reese wiped away tears at the podium as Johnson praised her leadership.

“The crown she wears is heavy. She’s the type of teammate that’s going to make you believe in yourself,” the “Big 4” rapper continued. “The leap that I took from my freshman to my sophomore year, Angel gave me that confidence to go be a dog. Playing next to a dog every day.”

“And just to see how the media ridicules her, we went through our problems but this is my sister right here and I’m so proud of her,” she added. “How they like to twist it and call her the villain, y’all don’t know Angel. I’m just happy that I get to play with her, I get to be around her, her presence, her energy is different. She just makes me a better player … and that’s what great players do.”

Reese discussed how she has dealt with the scrutiny she faced after leading LSU to its first-ever women’s national title last year, the 21-year-old became emotional.

“I don’t really get to stand up for myself,” Reese said. “I don’t really get to speak out on things because I just ignore (them). I just try to stand strong. … I’ve been through so much. I’ve seen so much. I’ve been attacked so many times, death threats, I’ve been sexualized, I’ve been threatened, I’ve been so many things, and I’ve stood strong every single time.

The Bayou princess added that she hasn’t been happy since winning the national game. 

“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,” she continued. “And it sucks, but I still wouldn’t change. I wouldn’t change anything, and I would still sit here and say I’m unapologetically me.”

Hailey Van Lith agrees “Angel’snson, commending Reese for cI’veg with so much and maintaining leadership.

“Y’all do not get to her. Let me say it again: Y’all do not get to Angel Reese, so you might want to give it up. Throw the towel in. Because you’re wasting your energy. Angel is one of the toughest people I’ve been around,” Van Lith said.

Van Lith athat’shat her teammate serves as an”inspiration on how not to let haters run your life. 

“Angel’s one of the toughest people I’ve been around. People speak hate into her life, I’ve never seen people wish bad things on someone as much as her. And it does not affect her,” Van Lith added. “She comes to practice every day, she lives her life every day, she lives how she wants to live. And she don’t let nobody change that. And that’s the key to life right there.”

Rees” also received support from Swin Cash, a three-time WNBA champion and the New Orleans Pelicans’ vice president of basketball operations and team development.

“This world can be cruel at times @Reese10Angel but you are loved & supported by many you’ve never met!” Cash wrote in a post on X early Tuesday. “You’ve got prayer warriors standing in the gap for you love. Chin up, Crown Straighten and know this too shall pass! Greater is he that is me.”

This NCAA Tournament, Johnson kept playing some of her greatest basketball. She finished with 23 points, shooting 10-for-18 from the field along with six rebounds and two assists.

Before fouling out in the last minute of the game, Reese finished with 17 points and 20 rebounds in 36 minutes.

The guard for Iowa, Clark, scored 41 points to lead the No. 1 Hawkeyes over the defending champion Tigers, while the All-American forward watched from the sideline.