LADY TIGERS<br>HEADED FOR FINAL 4

SEATTLE - After coming back from seven points down with less than six minutes to play, the LSU women's basketball team advanced to its first Final Four, 62-60, over No. 3-seeded Georgia on Monday night in Bank of America Arena.

The Final Four berth is the first for the women's team, after falling in three previous Elite Eight appearances, most recently to Texas in 2003.

The fourth-seeded Lady Tigers needed a career-best 29 points for the second time in as many games out West from sophomore All-American Seimone Augustus to reign over the Southeastern Conference Tournament Champion Lady Bulldogs and move on to face either Tennessee or Stanford on April 4 at either 6 or 8:30 p.m. CST.

Pokey Chatman clips down the nets as LSU is headed to its first-ever Final Four. (AP/DonRyan)

Augustus, the NCAA West Region's Most Outstanding Player at 26.3 points per game, made 12-of-19 shots including two three pointers, to keep the Lady Bulldogs near the cage throughout the evening. The 6-1 guard also grabbed eight rebounds, had two assists, two blocks and a steal.

Augustus has scored 105 points in four games this tournament, leading all scorers.

Georgia was led by forward Christi Thomas, who had 19 points and 10 rebounds, as well as freshman guard Janese Hardrick who scored 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting.

Georgia center Christi Thomas is consoled by her father Maurice Thomas in the wake of Monday's loss. (AP/DonRyan)

LSU held Georgia to 36.4 percent shooting and outrebounded the Lady Bulldogs, 39-35. LSU had six blocked shots and turned the ball over only nine times, while shooting 43.9 percent from the field (25 of 57).

Lady Tigers point guard Temeka Johnson, who was also named to the All-Tournament Team, had 16 points, five assists and four rebounds in 38 minutes of play.

In the first two minutes, Georgia jumped out to a quick 5-2 lead on the strength of Thomas' post play. Augustus countered with four straight to give LSU the lead for a possession, however, Hardrick's three-pointer from the right wing put the Lady Tigers down 8-6 with 16:14 to play in the half.

Georgia maintained their lead until the 10:23 mark when Augustus hit a 16-footer with time running off the shot clock to give LSU a 15-14 advantage

Seimone Augustus led LSU with 29 points, tying a career high. (AP/Elaine Thompson)

The LSU sophomore guard then hit a 16-footer to tie the game at 17-17 before giving her team the lead, 21-20, at the 7:08 media timeout with a pair of free throws off dribble penetration.

Georgia made only 7-of-23 field goal attempts in the first 13 minutes for 30.4 percent, while LSU made 9-of-19 for 47.4 percent.

With Thomas out of the game, Georgia regained the lead, 26-23, behind a layup by reserve forward Ebony Felder and a three-pointer from reserve guard Cori Chambers off an LSU turnover.

The Lady Tigers answered with a free throw by Scholonda Hoston and a put-back of the missed second free throw by 6-5 sophomore center Crystal White to tie the game once again.

Georgia held LSU without a point for more than three minutes before Augustus knifed through two defenders with a behind-the-back dribble and pulled up for an eight-foot jumper with less than three seconds left in the half.

LSU trailed 32-28 at halftime.

Wendlyn Jones grabs the loose ball as Seimone Augustus is all smiles when the final buzzer sounded. (AP/JohnFroschauer)

Augustus scored 16 points of 7-of-11 shooting -- all but two from outside 15 feet -- to lead the Lady Tigers, while Hardrick had 13 and Thomas had 12 at the break.

A rare three-pointer by Augustus with 15:50 to play in the game gave LSU its largest lead to that point, 37-34, but a 15-6 Georgia run put the Lady Bulldogs back on top at the 8:20 mark, 49-43.

LSU was able to cut the lead to two twice on a layup by Treynell Clavelle and a 12-footer by Augustus before Hardrick hit a 24-footer as the shot clock expired to give the Lady Bulldogs a 59-54 lead with 4:02 to play.

The Lady Tigers went on an 8-1 run over the final four minutes, including a 12-footer from Johnson with 1:03 to play that proved to be the game winner.

Earlier on Monday, second-seeded Connecticut became the first team to advance to the Final Four, defeating No. 1-seeded Penn State in the East Regional Final, 66-49, in Hartford, Conn.

NCAA WEST REGION ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Seimone Augustus, LSU, G (MVP)
Temeka Johnson, LSU, G
Jamie Carey, Texas, G
Janese Hardrick, Georgia, G
Christi Thomas, Georgia, C


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