UNC is next

Three wins down, one to go for the LSU women's basketball team in their drive for a fifth-straight NCAA Final Four appearance.

The Lady Tigers (30-5), the No. 2 seed in the New Orleans Region, face top-seeded North Carolina (33-2) at 6:30 p.m. CDT on Monday in New Orleans Arena with the winner advancing to Tampa for the 2008 NCAA Women’s Final Four.


LSU defeated No. 3 seed Oklahoma State, 67-52, in the regional semifinal on Saturday afternoon, while UNC got past No. 4 seed Louisville, 78-74.


This will be just the second meeting between the two programs that have combined for six Final Four appearances in the past four seasons. LSU won the only other meeting, 79-63, on Nov. 29, 1986 in Baton Rouge. That game was UNC head coach Sylvia Hatchell’s second game as the leader of the Tar Heels.


The match-up, between the twp top seeds in the New Orleans Region, pits the nation’s top scoring offense in North Carolina (87.3 ppg) against the nation’s top scoring defense in LSU (50.1 ppg).


Sylvia Fowles, the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, leads LSU into the game. The 6-6 senior center is averaging 17.1 points and 10.0 rebounds per game overall and 15.7 points and 10.3 boards in the three tournament games.


Quianna Chaney, another of LSU’s eight seniors, is posting 14.6 points overall this season and 10.7 points in the tournament.


Erica White is scoring 12.7 points in the tournament, including a team-high 18 points in the victory over Oklahoma State on Saturday.


Rashanda McCants leads UNC’s five players in double figures with 16.1 points per game. LaToya Pringle and Erlana Larkins are both averaging 14.0 points per game.


The winner of the game will represent the New Orleans Region at the Final Four in Tampa and play in the National Semifinal against the Oklahoma City Region winner on April 6 at the St. Pete Times Forum.

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