Big Ten Player of the Year Maggie Lucas and first-team All-Conference pick Alex Bentley combined for only two points in the second half as No. 3 seed Penn State lost to the No. 6 seed Tigers, 71-66.
The Lady Lions (26-6) led 62-58 with just over 4:00 left in the game but were outscored 13-4 down the stretch.
LSU (22-11), which dressed only seven players, stifled Penn State's dynamic duo by using a triangle-and-two defense in the second half. With Tigers dogging Lucas and Bentley, center Nikki Greene (16 points, 16 rebounds in the game) and wing Ariel Edwards (13 points) picked up the scoring load in the final stanza.
But it was not enough. When the game was on the line in the final few minutes, the Lady Lion offense was out of sorts. They trailed 67-66 and had possession with :34 to go, but the senior Bentley -- who was scoreless in the half -- forced a short 2-pointer and later forced a triple. Neither found the mark.
The Tigers made 4 of 6 free throws to seal a date with No. 2 seed California in Spokane Saturday.
LSU guard Adrienne Webb tallied a career-high 29 points, and on her own outscored Lucas (9) and Bentley (14).