After building a double-digit lead in the first 12 minutes, LSU was never in danger of losing control of the game. But some shooting slumps and some defensive lapses prevented the Lady Tigers from turning in the dominant performance coach Sue Gunter wanted.
"We're not where I think we need to be," said Gunter. "Perhaps it's just me being very apprehensive because this time next week we're in Tuscon waiting to play a very good Arizona team…"
Augustus was 18 minutes of action in the first half and scored 12 of her points with a combination of baseline lay-ups and short-range jumpers. She also led LSU with 8 rebounds while shooting 8 for 14 from the field. According to Gunter, Augustus could be creating more offensive opportunities and will probably do so once she grows more comfortable with her role on the team.
"I had my Twix today so I was all right," said Augustus, referring to her pre-game candy bar ritual.
Twin sisters Roneeka and Doneeka Hodges each totaled 14 points, while Aiysha Smith added 11 points. Temeka Johnson had eight of the Lady Tigers' 28 assists.
Andrea Jackson led Houston off the bench with 10 points. The team comprised of former college players from around the country committed 23 turnovers and shot 30.8 percent (16-52) for the game.
LSU suffered its own dry spell on offense to start the second half, when Gunter said her team failed to execute its zone defense and came out flat on the other end of the court as a result. The Lady Tigers made their first basket of the second half when Roneeka Hodges hit a three-pointer just nine seconds into the period for a 51-18 LSU lead.
LSU didn't score again until Hodges provided two free throws at the 15:10 mark, and the next field goal for the Lady Tigers in the second half didn't come until 13:29 when Augustus made a put-back under the basket.
"The chemistry is there amongst us as a team off court," said Johnson. "It's not there on the court the way it needs to be."
Houston didn't make up much ground, however, and trailed 54-30 after the Augustus basket. A three-pointer from Jackson at 11:40 would be the only field goal for the Jaguars over a nine-minute span. The Lady Tigers took advantage of the Houston lull with a 24-2 run that produced an 84-35 lead with 3:08 remaining.
LSU never trailed in the game after breaking a 5-5 tie with a lay-up from Augustus at the 17:06 mark of the first half. The Lady Tigers build their lead to double-digits with a jumper from Doneeka Hodges with 8:57 to go for a 22-11 edge. Roneeka Hodges gave LSU a 20-point lead, 31-11, at 5:49 before the break with a three-pointer from a feed by Kisha James.
Gunter had to call a 30-second timeout to allow James to leave the court after she had been favoring the left knee in which she already suffered two separate ACL tears. James returned to the bench for the second half and returned to the game with under ten minutes to play. She finished with 3 points, 5 assists and 3 steals in 9 minutes.