Second half surge propels Lady Tigers

LSU's third-ranked women's basketball overcame a poor offensive first half to defeat No. 15 Minnesota, 66-45, on Saturday afternoon in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

LSU (13-0, 2-0 SEC) trailed 23-19 at halftime after shooting just 25.8 percent from the floor , but came back to outscore Minnesota (9-3, 2-0 Big Ten) 47-22 in the second half.

The Lady Tigers used a 15-0 run after trailing 35-34 with 12:56 left in the game to take command. The Golden Gophers cut the lead back down to nine of two occasions, including 54-45 with 4:13 left before LSU ended the game on a 12-0 run.

"For 20-25 minutes Minnesota did an outstanding job of taking us out of our game," LSU head coach Pokey Chatman said. "It was a tale of two halves."

Sylvia Fowles, who finished the game with 21 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, was forced to sit the final 13 minutes of the first half with foul trouble and Minnesota took advantage.

The Golden Gophers used a 14-1 run in the first half with Fowles on the bench to take 22-15 lead before LSU snapped a 0-15 shooting drought with an Ashley Thomas jumper to cut Minnesota's lead to four just before the half ended.

"When we were struggling offensively, we were still able to remain a force defensively and hold them to only 45 points," Chatman added. "That is something that we talk about all the time."

It was the Lady Tigers' solid defense that kept the Golden Gophers in the game. Minnesota only shot 38.5 percent from the floor in the opening half, but did out rebound LSU 26-17.

LSU, with Fowles on the floor for the entire 20 minutes of the second half, outrebounded Minnesota 30-14 and had a 47-40 advantage for the game.

Seimone Augustus, who also had 21 points along with Fowles, grabbed 11 rebounds for the Lady Tigers to compliment Fowles 13.

Scholanda Hoston added 14 points and eight rebounds for the Lady Tigers, while RaShonta LeBlanc had eight points and six assists.

Natasha Williams led Minnesota with 15 points and nine rebounds.

A paid crowd of 9,940 witness the comeback. It was the seventh largest crowd Maravich Center crowd in the program's history and the third largest Pack the PMAC crowd.

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