Lady Tigers run past Tulane 79-45

Another energetic crowd of 5,000-plus fans turned out Sunday afternoon to see the No. 1-ranked Lady Tigers dispatch Tulane 79-45.

On Pokey Chatman bobble head day at the Maravich Center, Seimone Augustus led the way with 23 points as top-ranked LSU (13-0) remained perfect on the season.


The Lady Tigers played red-hot Rutgers on Wednesday and will open SEC play Saturday with an 11 a.m. contest versus Georgia (16AP/15Coaches) in the annual Pack the PMAC classic.


Tulane coach Lisa Stockton said coming into the contest she knew her young Green Wave team would be outmanned by the talented lady Tigers. She said her team's mission in this game was to use playing the nation's top-rated team as motivation for the rest of the season.


"Playing a team like this, coming in here as a young team, our goal was to leave here a better team," Stockton said.


An off night of sorts shooting the ball, LSU struggled at times getting shots to fall. In all, the Lady Tigers shot just 42.7-percent from the floor.


"We knew they were good and knew they would score," said Tulane senior Lakethia Hampton. "We just wanted to keep their percentages down."


While LSU went on to win by a lopsided, 34-point margin of victory, Tulane hung around a while keeping the issue in doubt for more than 10 minutes of the first half. Scholanda Hoston banked in a layup to open the scoring and LSU increased its lead to 4-0 on an Augustus baseline jumper. However, the Green Wave evened the score at 4-4 on back-to-back layups by Hampton and Alendra Brown at the 17:18 mark.


Hampton led all Tulane scorers with 24 points, hitting 9-of-18 shots from the floor.


"We talk to this team all the time about carrying over from game to game," Chatman said. "But we didn't do that defensively for the first six or so minutes of the first half. I think we turned things up a bit after the second media timeout."


LSU mounted a 7-0 run over the next two minutes and led 11-4 with 15:31 left to play in the first half. But the Green Wave took advantage of kind-iron and had several shots find the bottom of the net narrowing the gap to just four points, trailing 20-16 after a Brown layup with 11:28 left to go in the first half.


However, that would be as close as Tulane could get the score. LSU went on a 15-1 run and took a 35-17 when Temeka Johnson nailed a three-pointer at the 3:53 mark in the first half. Johnson, along with Hoston, were the only other Lady Tigers scoring in double figures finishing with 15 points each. As a team, LSU converted 8-of-20 shots from beyond the three-point arch. Even Augustus got in on the three-point assault, hitting her first trey of the season at the 16:36 mark in the first half.


"Today, we had a lot of movement on offense, that is something we didn't have (against Texas State)," Augustus said. "We were kind of just standing around. But today, our post players set some good screens against their zone and we got some good looks."


The Lady Tigers led 42-22 at the half.


LSU opened the second half with four straight points from Johnson. A three-pointer by Hoston with 14:21 left to play in the game gave LSU its largest lead at that point, a 24-point advantage leading 53-29. The Lady Tigers acquired a 30-point lead on another Hoston trey at the 7:02 mark and Crystal White's layup with 45 seconds left to play extended LSU's lead to its largest margin, 34 points at 79-45, which would subsequently be the final score.


"Obviously when you play them, you know they are good," Stockton said. "But when we are playing them, I am watching our team. When you see them on tape, then you realize just how good they really are. They are the complete package and are deserving of the No. 1 ranking."


Stockton, who is in her 11th season as the Green wave's head coach, said this is by far the best LSU team she has even seen.


"I have coached at Tulane for 11 years and have faced LSU a lot," she said. "This team is now the complete package."


She added the acquisition of 6-5 center Sylvia Fowles is the difference.


"I think so," Stockton said when asked about Fowles. "And you add (Quianna) Chaney with that long range shot; it makes them the total package. In year's past they have relied on their guards to score and their post players didn't produce a lot of points. But they have added more shooters and the added size is the difference."


While most people notice LSU's offensive numbers in terms of Augustus, Johnson, Hoston and Fowles, but the Lady Tigers' defensive efforts are something Hoston says is what makes this team complete.


"I think our defense is strong, if not the strongest part of our game, especially when we are struggling offensively," Hoston said. "It takes a lot out of a team when you are forcing turnovers and shot clock violations."


LSU forced 25 Tulane turnovers and scored 36 of its 79 points off takeaways. The Tigers managed to shut down the Green Wave's offensive efforts allowing just four Tulane players to score points in the game. Hampton scored the Green Wave's final 14 points of the game beginning with a layup at the 15:24 mark. A Hampton free throw with 3:02 left in regulation was Tulane's final point of the game and the Green Wave didn't register a field goal over the final 4:34 left in the second half.


Even after a game dominated by LSU, Johnson said there is no doubt this team can get better.


"It can get better," she said. "That is what is scary."


Some miscellaneous stats to report, LSU outscored Tulane's bench 23-1 and in points off turnovers 36-11. Fowles registered a career-high with five blocked shots. She finished the game with nine points and six rebounds along with six swats before fouling out of the game with three minutes left in the second half.

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