Lady Tigers stun Texas - head for Elite 8

SEATTLE -- Turnabout is fair play, so goes the cliche. Nearly a year to the day after Texas eliminated top-seeded LSU from the NCAA Tournament, the fourth-seeded Lady Tigers advanced to the Elite 8 for the second-consecutive season, 71-55, on Saturday night in Bank of America Arena.

LSU (26-7) out-schemed, out-played and out-hustled the No. 4 Longhorns (30-5) and advance to Monday night's 8 o'clock CST regional final. The Lady Tigers will face SEC rival Georgia, which beat Purdue, 66-64.

Texas had no answer for LSU sophomore guard Seimone Augustus, who hit 14-of-19 shots and scored 29 points in 39 minutes of action. The sleek and smooth Baton Rouge native twirled and twisted the Longhorns into submission with eight minutes to play in the game.

"My teammates did a good job of getting me open," Augustus said. "Once I got the ball, I just read the defense, made the correct cut and went to the basket aggressively when I had a good shot."

After being held to eight points in last season's 18-point defeat, Augustus credited her improvement in this year's blowout to maturity.

"It's a wonder what a difference a year makes," she said. "I'm more comfortable in the offense tonight with my teammates getting me open. I thought I was a lot more aggressive tonight, just knocking down open shots."

Point guard Temeka Johnson posted her third-straight double double of the NCAA Tournament, as the 5-3 guard had 12 points, 13 assists, five rebounds and only two turnovers in 38 minutes of action.

LSU reserve forward Treynell Clavelle came off the bench to play seven minutes and score 11 critical points in the post, while Doneeka Hodges had 10 points.

Texas, which shot just 36.4 percent from the field (20 of 55), had three players in double figures scoring, but only got five points on 2-of-6 shooting from All-America forward Stacey Stevens. The 6-1 senior grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the game in 33 minutes of play.

Jamie Carey's team-leading 17 points came on five three-pointers, as the junior did not take a shot from inside the arc and finished 5-of-10 shooting. National Freshman of Year Tiffany Jackson and forward Heather Schreiber had 14 each for the Longhorns.

Texas turned the ball over 16 times, while LSU had only 10. The Lady Tigers scored 25 points off turnovers.

LSU outrebounded the Longhorns, 39-35, and had nine steals.

After Augustus scored the opening basket, Texas rolled off seven straight including a three-pointer by Norman to take an early lead. However, the Lady Tigers chipped away by getting 10 points in the paint including a four-footer off the glass from Augustus to take the lead, 17-15, with 10:04 to play in the half.

LSU built the lead to 22-17 on a three-point play by Clavelle and a 12-foot jumper by Johnson with 7:57 to plat in the half.

The lead increased to 10, 30-20, behind a layup by Augustus, a three-pointer from Hodges and another layup from Clavelle with 3:53 left in the half.

Texas cut the lead to single digits, 32-24, on a layup by Jackson before Hodges drove the left baseline for an LSU layup and Scholonda Hoston hit a three-pointer to give the Lady Tigers a 37-24 halftime advantage.

LSU shot 47.1 percent from the field while holding Texas to only 9-of-25 shooting (36 percent) in the first half. Most importantly, the Lady Tigers outrebounded the Longhorns, 21- 16, despite coming into the game ranked last of the 16 remaining tournament teams in rebounding.

Augustus scored 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting, while Johnson had six points and six assists in the first 20 minutes. Texas was led by Jackson with seven first-half points.

LSU gave Texas more of the same in the second half, holding off an early Longhorn run to extend the lead to 17 points, 57-40 at the 7:56 mark.

Augustus continued to prove why she was considered the best prospect in the school's history, as the sophomore scored 10 points in a five-minute span to school the nation's No. 4-ranked and the NCAA West Region's top-seeded team on national television.

Carey hit three three-pointers in less than three minutes to keep the Longhorns alive as time ran down in the regional semifinal. After the third of these threes and a free throw by Jackson, Texas trailed by 15, 67-52, at the 3:03 media timeout.

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