Lady Tigers run past Gamecocks

The third-ranked LSU women's basketball team used a 26-4 run in 11 minutes between the two halves to open a 26-point lead and roll past South Carolina on Thursday in the Maravich Center, 79-46.

2005 National Player of the Year Seimone Augustus scored a game-high 22 points on 9-of-17 shooting to lead LSU (14-0, 3-0 SEC). For the first time in her career, the 6-1 guard did not record a rebound, but posted four steals and two assists in 31 minutes.

Sophomore center Sylvia Fowles notched another double double with 15 points and 12 rebounds, blocking two shots. Reserve guard Quianna Chaney added 12 points, while starting guard Scholanda Hoston had 11 points, four assists and three steals.

LSU shot 52.5 percent from the field (31 of 59), including better than 57 percent in the second half. The Lady Tigers had 19 steals, scoring 34 points of South Carolina turnovers.

"We shot 52.5 percent for the game, which was good, but overall it comes down to our defensive effort," LSU head coach Pokey Chatman said. "So overall I'm extremely pleased with the effort."

South Carolina (9-6, 0-3 SEC), which struggled with 29 turnovers, was led by reserve guard Stacy Booker who scored 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting including three three-pointers. Starting guard Lauren Simms was the only other Lady Gamecock in double figures scoring with 13 points with eight turnovers.

In the first half, LSU turned up the pressure on the Lady Gamecocks, taking a 9-2 lead in the first five-plus minutes before South Carolina cut it to one, 13-12, on a jumper by Lauren Simms with 11:52 left.

However, LSU answered with an 11-2 run of their own to extend the lead to double figures. South Carolina again battled back to within four, 24-20, at the 8:06 mark.

LSU, which has now won 17 straight Southeastern Conference games and 24 straight games in the Maravich Center, scored 14 of the next 16 points over the next 4:37 to take a commanding 38-22 lead. After a South Carolina basket with 3:17 to play, neither team scored for the duration and LSU led 38-24.

LSU scored 16 points off 13 South Carolina turnovers in the first half, accounting for more than the 14-point margin going into the lockerroom. Despite 52.6 percent shooting in the half, the Lady Gamecocks managed only 19 shots compared to the Lady Tigers' 33.

The Lady Tigers scored the first 12 points in less than three minutes of the second half to extend the lead to 50-24, and South Carolina didn't get within 23 for the duration.

A free throw by reserve guard Erica White with 4:20 to play gave LSU its largest lead, 73-38, with 4:20 to play in the game.

Members of LSUsports.net's Geaux Zone powered by USAgencies can watch archived video from the contest within an hour of the end of the post-game.

LSU returns to action on Monday, Jan. 16, when the travel to Hartford, Conn., for the first time to face No. 7 Connecticut. The 6 p.m. CT tipoff will be broadcast live on ESPN2.

GAME NOTES

-LSU has now won 24 straight games in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, the fourth longest active streak in the nation.

-LSU has won 17 straight Southeastern Conference games, including 10 in a row at home.

-Pokey Chatman posted her 47th victory in her 50th game tonight, the second best 50-game record in women's basketball history.

-Seimone Augustus reached double figure points for the 76th straight game and had at least 20 points for the 56th time in her career.

-Sylvia Fowles recorded her eighth double double of the season and 20th of her career.

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