Tigers post 5th straight win vs. Gators

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- LSU center Sylvia Fowles spent most of the first half against Florida on the bench in foul trouble.

The Gators weren't as fortunate in the second half.

Fowles had 10 points and seven rebounds after halftime, leading the Tigers (No. 2 ESPN/USA Today, No. 3 AP) to a 64-47 victory Thursday night.

"She's just a huge presence and strong inside," Florida coach Carolyn Peck said. "They were getting her involved with lob passes and she got opportunities on the boards."

Fowles, a 6-foot-5 freshman from Miami, finished with 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting and had six offensive rebounds. She also had a block and a steal.

The Gators (11-5, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) tried to double- and sometimes triple-team Fowles, but she managed to get rebounds, putbacks and draw fouls seemingly at will.

She even had a rebound and reverse layup from underneath the basket with about six minutes to play that had several Florida men's players in awe from the stands.

Her inside game helped Seimone Augustus and Quianna Chaney get several open outside shots. Augustus finished with 18 points on 7-of-17 shooting, Chaney added 12 on four 3-pointers and the Tigers (15-1, 2-0) extended their winning streak against Florida to five games.

LSU has rebounded from its loss to Rutgers last week by winning its first two conference games. The latest one had a lot to do with Fowles.

"Each day that goes by in practice and in games, she's getting better and better," coach Pokey Chatman said. "Her presence really helps open things up for everyone else."

Florida, admittedly undersized and less athletic than LSU, was surprisingly in the game until midway through the second half. The Tigers used a 6-0 run to turn a 33-28 game into a one-sided affair.

They pulled away from there, with Augustus and Fowles leading the way.

Augustus scored 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting after halftime, and Fowles was seemingly unstoppable in the post.

"The last quarter of the game, that's where LSU stepped their game up and were able to pull away," Chatman said. "We had to try to play catch-up."

Tamia Williams led the Gators with 15 points but had eight turnovers and no assists. Bernice Mosby added 15 rebounds.

Florida, which opened the game with a 5-0 lead, had a chance to build on that in the first half. But the Gators went 5:36 and 5:55 without a basket and finished the first half with 16 turnovers.

"We kind of slacked in the first half, and Florida took advantage of it," Augustus said.

Florida shot 28 percent in the first half and wasn't much better in the second, shooting 29 percent. The Gators also finished with a season-high 24 turnovers.

"We had to take care of the ball, and we didn't do that tonight," said Florida guard Tishona Gregory, who had 12 points.