Lady Tigers leave no doubt - blister Bama 85-43

Sue Gunter constantly reminded her team what happened a year ago when the LSU Lady Tigers traveled to Tuscaloosa. <br><br> The Crimson Tide used a hot three-point attack downing Gunter's squad 83-72 last season. No way would LSU allow it to happen again.

"We got reminded of it every day," senior forward Aiysha Smith said.

 

Gunter placed signs with last year's score all around during practices preceding Thursday night's contest.

 

"We lost a game in Tuscaloosa last year that we needed to win and our kids remembered it," Gunter said.

 

Not only did they remember it - they took it personally.

 

Led by Seimone Augustus' 16 points, the 4th-ranked Lady Tigers (21-1, 9-1 sec) showed no mercy disposing of Alabama 85-43 in the Maravich Assembly Center.

 

The same Crimson Tide team, which nailed 12-of-18 three-point shots a season ago in Tuscaloosa, was held scoreless from beyond the three-point arch on 0-of-9 shooting.

 

"I thought our defense was one that was a real key for us and the reason I say that is because I have great respect for the style of play that coach (Rick) Moody coaches," Gunter said. "I guess for so many years we have seen them light it up from the three-point line and we have seen them this year light it up."

 

Moody was equally surprised that his team failed to convert a three-point basket.

 

"We were trying to run some motion (offense) and set some back screens and get them to help a little bit," Moody said. "Then we could step back and get a look at the basket. We just never really got any good looks. They did a fantastic job."

 

Coming into Thursday game, Alabama (11-12, 1-9 SEC) ranked fourth in the SEC in three-point shooting hitting 38-percent of shots from outside. On the other hand, LSU is tops in the league defending the arch allowing only 25-percent of three-point shots to fall.

 

"They really extended their defense," Moody said. "They are athletic enough to jump out there and do that."

 

Augustus scored the first points of the game hitting a 12-foot, baseline jumper. The Crimson Tide answered when Natasha Gamble pumped in a jump shot of her own. Temeka Johnson then gave LSU a 4-2 lead with a short jump shot and LSU never looked back.

 

The Lady Tigers put together a 23-2 run and took a 27-4 lead with an Augustus layup at the 9:32 mark. The Crimson Tide never recovered from LSU's initial punch. LSU led 44-16 at the half.

 

"We brought a lot of it on ourselves by putting the ball on the floor or picking up our dribble on bad positions on the floor," Moody said. "When you are not really good on offense anyway and you are giving then easy baskets off turnovers, it is going to be hard to keep the game close against a great team like LSU."

 

The Lady Tigers forced Alabama into 19 turnovers in the game, nine of which came in the first half. LSU scored 23 first half points off Crimson Tide giveaways. The Lady Tigers finished with just eight turnovers in the game, only one of which came in the first half.

 

"Anytime we are in single digits in turnovers, it is good for us," Gunter said.

Over the past few weeks, LSU has been winning SEC games in dramatic fashion. The Lady Tigers have collected a sluice of close games including a 5-point win at Mississippi State last Sunday and a 3-point win at South Carolina last Thursday.

 

"I've been told about the close games and how we need to stop it so we needed to come out with a lot of intensity," Smith said.

 

Gunter said starting slow has been a problem for her club this season.

 

"We have been shooting ourselves in the foot starting off this season," Gunter said. "We had a slow start at Mississippi State. That is scary especially when you are on the road. It doesn't bother you so much when you are at home.

 

"We were ready to play tonight," Gunter added. "The kids were very focused and again. I thought they were very focused, held their poise and did a nice job."

 

All 12 players who dressed for LSU scored in the game. Augustus led the way with 16 points, followed by Ke-Ke Tardy's 11 points and Smith with 11. Roneeka Hodges had nine while Patty Hanten and Johnson each scored eight.

The Crimson Tide finished with just two players in double figures. Gamble


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