GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — The Southeastern Conference tournament quarterfinal game between No. 4 LSU and Georgia was delayed by severe weather — and a leaky roof — at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
The teams were coming out of a timeout with LSU ahead 42-32 and 4:23 left before halftime when players and people around the court noticed water around a basket. Officials called LSU coach Kim Mulkey and Georgia coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson together and soon, the two were pointing toward the roof, where apparently water had seeped in as strong storms pushed through downtown Greenville.
A statement from the SEC said “excessive high winds opened a damper to open in an exhaust fan in the roof that allowed water to enter the roof and fall to the court.”
Mulkey’s son texted her during the delay, saying, “I thought you said you coached an indoor sport,” the coach said.
The teams were sent to their locker rooms to wait out the weather, which lasted approximately 45 minutes.
The Tigers and Bulldogs were given 10 minutes to warm up before the game restarted.
Third-seeded Tennessee and 14th-seeded Kentucky are scheduled to play the fourth quarterfinal after the LSU-Georgia game.
The Well, as the building is nicknamed, will play host to the NCAA Tournament women’s regional in three weeks.
Mulkey, who might be back at that regional site where two Final Four teams will be decided, told officials, “Aren’t y’all hosting a regional here?,” she said. “I believe I’d get it fixed. It’s not a good look, is it?”
Georgia’s Abrahamson-Henderson thought the layoff blunted some of her team’s momentum. The Bulldogs had cut an 11-point lead to 37-32. LSU scored the next five points and then came the stoppage.
“It was tough, something we couldn’t control,” Georgia’s Javyn Nicholson said. “Our team had to get warm again, and just see the ball go in.”
AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
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