As all-Americans Diana Taurasi of UConn and Duke's Alana Beard, arguably the countries' best point guards, prepare to move on, Augustus gave a hint of what was to come as the Lady Tiger sophomore hit 12-of-20 shots for 26 points leading LSU to the Sweet 16 for the second straight season.
LSU heads for Seattle and the Sweet 16 for a rematch with No. 1 seed Texas. The Lady Longhorns denied the Lady Tigers a trip to the Final Four beating LSU in last year's Elite 8.
"We still have business to take care of," Johnson said. "We're happy we're advancing, but we can't seem like it's the end or just luck that we won the game. We still have unfinished business."
Tipoff is set for 9 p.m. EST Saturday.
While the Lady Tigers (25-7) ultimately won going away, it was upset-minded Maryland that controlled the first half carrying a 28-27 lead into halftime.
"I am proud of these guys for the way they executed for 40 minutes," said LSU acting head coach Pokey Chatman. "We had to come back, but we attacked on defense and hit some shots."
LSU, who led by as many as four points in the first half, cut it to one point just before the half on a three-pointer by Doneeka Hodges. Maryland (18-13) rallied from a 12-4 deficit early in the first half and took a 28-24 advantage on a 12-footer by freshman Shay Doron with 54 seconds left. However, Chatman called a timeout and set up a play designed for Hodges in the corner. Try as they might, the Lady Terps could do little to stop it.
"We felt like they would go to Hodges or Augustus before the half," said Maryland head coach Brenda Frese. "We had good pressure on her (Hodges), but she got the ball off anyway."
Hodges three-pointer was a sign of things to come in the second half. The Lady Tigers opened the second half with a Hodges jumper for the lead. A couple of free throws allowed the Lady Terps to re-tie the score momentarily. But an Augustus layup with 16:45 broke a 31-31 tie. LSU never trailed again.
"I thought we did a good job in the first half, but our shots didn't fall," Augustus said. "We just wanted to do more of the same in the second half and things worked out."
Maryland trailed by as many as 10 points at the 8:05 mark. However, the Lady Terps managed to cut it to five points twice, first on a Delvona Oliver trey with 7:27 left and the second on two Doron free throws. However, LSU mounted a 14-4 run over the next six minutes building its largest lead at 15 points with just over a minute left in regulation.
"You have to give credit to LSU," Frese said. "They're an extremely talented team, and they not only have Seimone, who I was hoping was going to miss a shot at some point, but they have an extremely talented and athletic team to go along with her."
Augustus wasn't the only factor for the Lady Tigers, although she was a big one. Temeka Johnson and Tillie Willis each recorded double-doubles while a total of five LSU players scored in double figures. Johnson had 12 points and 12 assists while Willis tallied 10 points and 11 rebounds. Hodges finished with 15 and Wendlyn Jones scored 10 points with nine boards.
"Maryland was a tough opponent," Johnson said. "They were a very good team, but the crowd kept us in it. Any time we head the crowd getting excited, and the band playing the fight song and the presence of the post players, I think any of us would be happy."