Lady Tigers cruise into semis

Top-seeded LSU broke a 12-12 tie with a 20-2 run and never looked back, beating No. 8-seed Ole Miss in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament, 91-73, on Friday afternoon in Alltel Arena.

The Lady Tigers (26-2), SEC regular-season champions with a 13-1 record, advanced to the semifinal round of the SEC Tournament for the fifth-straight season and will face No. 4-seed Kentucky at 6:30 p.m. CT on Saturday. Kentucky defeated No. 5-seeded Florida, 88-70, in the quarterfinal on Friday evening.

LSU improved to 9-3 in SEC Tournament play since 2002.

Ole Miss, which now awaits a post-season tournament bid, fell to 16-13 overall.

LSU's Seimone Augustus once again led the Lady Tigers to victory, scoring 30 points to tie a school record in SEC Tournament play set by now-head coach Pokey Chatman (1991 vs. Tennessee) and Alisha Jones (1986 vs. Georgia).

Augustus, named the SEC Coaches' Player of the Year earlier in the week, was 13-of-20 shooting with three blocked shots and three assists in 31 minutes of action.

Sophomore center Sylvia Fowles added 21 points and 13 rebounds in 30 minutes, while Scholanda Hoston scored 12 of her 14 points in the first half.

LSU point guard Erica White had 10 assists and forward Ashley Thomas had eight points, 10 rebounds and five assists.

The Lady Tigers shot 55 percent from the field (36 of 66), while holding Ole Miss to 36 percent (29 of 80). The Lady Rebels were out-rebounded 53-30, while LSU scored 55 points in the paint.

The Lady Tigers' only shortcoming was 20 turnovers.

Ole Miss was led by guard Armintie Price, who scored 23 points on 10-of-22 shooting. Ashley Awkward (19) and Ashley Johnson (17) were also in double figures scoring, combining to making 8-of-16 three pointers.

Price scored nine points in first 4:17, allowing the Lady Rebels to keep pace with the Lady Tigers early in the game.

However, the next 36 minutes belonged to LSU.

With 13 points from Hoston and seven from Augustus, the Lady Tigers went on a 20-2 run to lead 32-14 with 11:34 to play in the half. After missing their first two field goal attempts, LSU made 13 of 14 shots during the run.

As Ole Miss began to pressure the ball and trap defensively, Thomas took advantage of the over-play to score four-straight to maintain the 18-point lead.

Ole Miss' Ashley Awkward scored consecutive baskets to get within 13, but LSU responded with seven straight points including a three pointer by Quianna Chaney to extend the lead to 46-26.

The Lady Rebels got no closer than 17 and trailed 55-36 at the half. LSU shot 66 percent from the field in the half (21 of 32), led by Augustus with 18, Fowles with 14 and Hoston with 12.

Ole Miss used an 11-2 run early in the second half to narrow the margin to 14, 63-49. Coming out of an official timeout, the Lady Tigers scored six-straight points and never looked back.

With reserves playing most of the final eight minutes for LSU, Ole Miss cut the lead from 25 to 16 with another 11-2 run.

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