Lady Tigers claim SEC title

Seimone Augustus made the most of her final regular-season road contest and Sylvia Fowles had a career outing on Thursday against Alabama.

When it was over, the No. 3 LSU women's basketball team had clinched its second-straight SEC Championship, 86-61.

LSU (24-2, 12-1 SEC) again overcame a lackluster start to roll past Alabama (9-17, 3-10 SEC) in the second half.

Augustus, a senior who will celebrate her final home game on Sunday against Mississippi State, scored a game-high 32 points on 15-of-23 shooting with four assists. Her 6-6 running mate, Fowles, added a career-high 28 points with 13 rebounds for her 29th career double double.

Combined, the duo made 27-of-41 shots (65.8 percent). The rest of the Lady Tigers were 7-of-25 from the field (28 percent). As a team, LSU was 34 of 66 for 51.5 percent, adding 15-of-22 free throws.

The Lady Tigers became the fourth SEC school to repeat as women's basketball champions, joining Georgia, Auburn and Tennessee. The four schools are also the only to have multiple titles in the league's history.

LSU can claim the outright title with a victory over the Lady Bulldogs.

Though not known for her shooting outside the arc, Augustus hit a pair of three pointers and scored 12 of LSU's first 19 points to give the Lady Tigers a 19-12 lead with 12:25 left in the first half. The treys were the 14th and 15th of the season and gave her 30 for her career on 72 attempts.

LSU reserve forward Florence Williams scored four-straight to push the lead to 11, 23-12. However, Alabama answered with a 7-0 run over the next three minutes to close the gap to four.

Fowles and Augustus gave LSU three baskets in four trips, as the lead grew to eight, 29-21, with 6:40 left in the half.

LSU led 37-31 at the break, with both teams shooting 44 percent from the field. Alabama had 12 turnovers to LSU's seven. Augustus had 20 points on 9-of-14 shooting.

Augustus and Fowles continued to carry the load for the Lady Tigers, scoring the team's first 16 points of the second half -- Fowles 10, Augustus six -- as the advantage increased to 53-36 in the first 4:10 of the half.

Alabama got no closer than 11 for the remainder of the contest.

The Lady Tigers play host to Mississippi State at 2 p.m. CT on Sunday, the final regular-season game of 2005-06 and "Senior Day" for Seimone Augustus, Scholanda Hoston and Florence Williams.

Team Notes

With tonight's victory, LSU captured at least a share of the Southeastern Conference championship. (NOTE: From 1980-85, the SEC champion was the winner of the SEC Tournament. Since 1986, the SEC champion has been determined by a round-robin schedule. The tournament continues to be held as to decide the recipient of the league's automatic NCAA tournament bid.)

LSU became the fourth SEC school to repeat as league champion, joining Georgia (1983-84, 1996-97), Auburn (1987-89) and Tennessee (1993-95, 1998-99, 2001-04). Additionally, LSU joined these three schools as the only ones to hold multiple SEC championships. Ole Miss (1992) and Kentucky (1982) have each won one league title.

Individual Notes

With 15 field goals, Seimone Augustus moved into second place on LSU's all-time list of career field goals made (1,042), passing Julie Gross (1976-80).

Playing her 131st game as a Lady Tiger, Augustus tied Julie Gross (1976-80) for the most games played by an LSU women's basketball player.

With 32 points, Augustus eclipsed 30 points for the fifth time in her career and the third time in the past five games (32 at Tennessee, career-best 35 at Florida). All five have come on the road.

Augustus extended her school-record streak to 88, the number of consecutive double-figures scoring games.

Sylvia Fowles set a career high with 28 points on 12 of 18 shooting and 4-of-8 free throws, surpassing her previous best of 26 set on Jan. 26, 2006, against Vanderbilt.

With 28 point and 13 rebounds, Fowles took over seconds place in the LSU list of career double doubles (points, rebounds) with 29, breaking a tie with DeTrina White (1998-2003). Seventeen of these have occurred in the 2005-06 season.

Khalilah Mitchell scored a career-high seven points (all in the second half), besting her previous high of six set against Rice (Nov. 29, 2003).

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