DePaul Falls in Regional Semifinal to LSU

SAN ANTONIO - When reigning player of the year and national scoring leader Seimone Augustus missed a fast-break layup that would've broken an early second-half tie, it looked like LSU might have serious trouble shaking DePaul.

Turns out, it only delayed things by a few possessions.

The Lady Tigers scored the game's next 12 points, six by Augustus, and used tight defense to pull away from the Blue Demons for a 66-56 victory Saturday in the semifinals of the San Antonio Regional.

Augustus finished with 18 points -- and a twisted ankle -- and Sylvia Fowles had 13 points and 19 rebounds to help send top-seeded LSU (30-3) into the regional finals for the fourth straight year. The Lady Tigers will try making it three straight Final Fours when they play Monday night against the winner of the other semifinal, between Oklahoma and Stanford.

However, LSU may spend Sunday as concerned about Augustus as the next foe.

Augustus injured her left ankle on a drive to the basket with about 1:43 left. She grabbed it immediately and was on the ground for several minutes, then needed help getting to the bench. Although she went back into the game shortly after, she was gimpy and grimacing.

LSU did a great job of keeping fourth-seeded DePaul (27-7) out of the running game that made the Blue Demons one of the nation's highest-scoring teams. DePaul didn't have a single basket off its fast break -- and didn't make it to the foul line until there was 1:06 left.

It was their fewest points since having 48 against Louisville on Jan. 25 and their 32 percent shooting was among the worst of the season.

Jenna Rubino led the Blue Demons with 15 points, all on 3-pointers. She was 5-of-9 behind the arc and 5-of-13 overall. Khara Smith, the school's career leader in rebounds and No. 2 on the scoring list, had 13 points (on 6-of-20 shooting) and 20 rebounds.

Caprice Smith was 5-of-15 for 11 points and Allie Quigley, the team's second-leading scorer this season, was 2-of-11 for seven points.

Despite their problems, the Blue Demons overcame an early seven-point deficit to tie the game at halftime. They went ahead by opening the second half with Quigley's first basket.

After Ashley Thomas answered for the Lady Tigers, Augustus picked off a pass near midcourt and dribbled for the go-ahead points. It came off the backboard too hard and DePaul grabbed the rebound and another chance to grab the lead.

But the Blue Demons couldn't take advantage. They were already crumbling.

DePaul went about six minutes without a basket, turning the ball over four times and missing six shots along the way. Two of the misses were blocked, one was an air ball and another -- a 3-pointer heaved to beat the shot clock -- banged the backboard about a ball's width away from the rim.

By the time Caprice Smith banked in a shot to end the rut, LSU had turned a tie at 33 into a 10-point lead. The Blue Demons never got any closer.

Despite the disappointment, DePaul heads back to Chicago knowing it had a memorable season. The Blue Demons tied the school record for victories and reached the regional semifinals for the first time, all while playing their first season in the Big East.

LSU hit 30 victories for the second straight year and the third time in four years.

Official Box Score

Postgame Audio






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