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'That's for Poa:' LSU secures SEC championship berth over Ole Miss after Last-Tear Poa is stretchered off

Poa's CT scan came back clean, Mulkey told reporters after the win

KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE - FEBRUARY 25: Last-Tear Poa #13 of the LSU Lady Tigers looks on during warm ups before their game against the Tennessee Lady Vols at Thompson-Boling Arena on February 25, 2024 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)
LSU' Last-Tear Poa went down in a scary scene Saturday. (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) (Eakin Howard via Getty Images)

LSU is headed to the SEC championship game for the first time since 2012, following an emotional 75-67 win over Ole Miss that was halted by a scary scene late on Saturday.

Junior guard Last-Tear Poa was stretchered off the court with less than six minutes remaining in the game. She was taken to St. Francis hospital for further evaluation, where she was found to have movement of her extremities. Her CT scan came back clean, LSU head coach Kim Mulkey told reporters after the win.

Poa appeared to injure her neck after attempting to take a charge and landing hard. Her head appeared to bounce on the hardwood as the impact sent her sliding toward the baseline.

She stayed down for a while initially, but then she tried to walk after LSU star Angel Reese attempted to support her weight. It was clear that Poa was struggling to stand, and she was gently directed back down by trainers who rushed to the scene.

Mulkey also hurried to the court, staying by Poa's side as she was placed in a neck brace before paramedics lifted her away.

Poa's teammates watched in tears, gathering on the sideline to pray together while fans chanted Poa's name.

Sophomore Flaujae Johnson made a 3-pointer to increase the Tigers' lead to 67-59 in the final three minutes of the game. She reached for her heart and yelled "That's for Poa!" after it went in.

Reese and Johnson led LSU in scoring, both recording 21 points. Poa, who is from Australia, has started 10 games this season. She had five points in 17 minutes on Saturday.

"We knew what Poa wanted from us. It was for Poa tonight," Reese said in a postgame interview on the broadcast. "I'm getting emotional right now because she just brings so much to the team."

Ole Miss coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin called on the NCAA to change its block-or-charge rule after the game, saying that Poa put herself in a dangerous position because she was trying to make a play.

"There needs to be a rule, and then people won't slide under people," she said. "If we're trying to protect players, let's protect players."

The Rebels will now prepare for the NCAA tournament, while LSU faces South Carolina for the SEC title. South Carolina and the Tigers have only met once this season, a game that saw the undefeated Gamecocks close a 76-70 win in January.