KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- LSU's Temeka Johnson is making the most of her last chance for a national championship.
The Lady Tigers' senior point guard scored all 14 of her points in the first half and had 10 assists to help LSU rout Arizona 76-43 on Tuesday night in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.LSU (31-2), the tournament's No. 1 overall seed, will face 13th-seeded Liberty in the Chattanooga Regional semifinals on Saturday. Liberty upset fifth-seeded DePaul 88-79 on Tuesday night in College Park, Md."This is it. No time to leave anything," Johnson said.Johnson had a perfect shooting night, going 4-of-4 from the field, including two 3-pointers, and 4-of-4 at the foul line. She did not attempt a shot in the second half, and it wasn't needed."That just shows the type of player she is," said teammate Seimone Augustus, who often gets most of the attention as the leading scorer.Augustus wasn't bad herself, finishing with 18 points on 7-of-18 shooting before going to the bench with about 10 minutes left. Scholanda Hoston added 12 points.The Lady Tigers are trying to cap the most successful regular season in school history by making a second straight run to the Final Four. The Lady Tigers are in the final 16 for the ninth time.The ninth-seeded Wildcats (20-12) were in a big hole early and never recovered.With Arizona unable to match LSU's speed and hustle in transition, the Lady Tigers ran out to an 11-0 lead and had a 20-point advantage with 7:22 left in the half."I thought from the very first possession on defense we established ourselves," LSU coach Pokey Chatman said. "They did a great job of making Arizona shoot difficult shots."The Wildcats made a dent in the lead after switching to a zone defense and had a quick 8-0 run to cut it to 14 before halftime, but that was as close as Arizona would get.Johnson had six assists in the first 6½ minutes of the game.The shortest player on the court at 5-foot-3, Johnson scored inside and outside. She got one of her baskets before halftime driving the baseline and past 6-5 Shawntinice Polk in the paint."We came out of the blocks pretty strong," Johnson said. "If I bring the energy, it will trickle down."Arizona trailed by 25 at the break, its largest halftime deficit of the season. LSU outscored the Wildcats 8-0 to open the second half to go ahead by 33. Arizona set a season low with its 43 points, and the margin matched the biggest loss of the season. Arizona also lost by 33 at Ohio State earlier this season.Dee-Dee Wheeler led the Wildcats with 13 points, and Polk had 10. Danielle Adefeso added 12 rebounds. Arizona had only four assists.Arizona's band tried to drum up support for the flailing Wildcats by playing Tennessee's "Rocky Top," and Lady Vols fans who arrived early for the Tennessee-Purdue game briefly cheered against their Southeastern Conference foe."I guess it didn't work," Johnson said.Arizona and the Lady Tigers played a home-and-away series in the previous two seasons, with LSU winning both by a combined 17 points.