CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- LSU showed again why it is good to be
the overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
The Lady Tigers posted their third straight blowout victory against an overmatched opponent, this time beating 13th-seeded Liberty 90-48 on Saturday to reach the Chattanooga Regional final. The 42-point margin of victory was the second-largest in regional semifinal history, behind Louisiana Tech's 44-point win over Purdue in 1990.
"We're competing. That's not to take away from our opponents. We're doing everything well, and it shows the caliber of our team," said point guard Temeka Johnson, who had 12 points and 15 assists.
All-American Seimone Augustus and Scholanda Hoston each scored 22 points to help the Lady Tigers end Liberty's amazing tournament run. Freshman Sylvia Fowles had 10 points for LSU (32-2), trying to reach the Final Four for the second straight year.
The Lady Tigers will face either Duke or Georgia on Monday in the regional final. They have outscored their first three opponents 236-127.
The Lady Flames (26-7), making their ninth appearance in the tournament, become only the second No. 13 seed to reach the regional semifinals after notching their first two NCAA tourney wins.
But LSU was prepared for the Christian evangelical school, getting tapes of the Lady Flames before their upsets over Penn State and DePaul.
Thanks to a smothering defense that shut down dominant 6-foot-8 center Katie Feenstra, LSU jumped out to a quick 17-0 lead.
Liberty had five turnovers in the first 4½ minutes and only two field-goal attempts. The Lady Flames missed both and didn't score until Kristal Tharp's two free throws with 13:09 left before halftime. They finished with 22 turnovers, 16 on steals by LSU.
Diana Staugaitiene made Liberty's first bucket, a 3-pointer at the 10:48 mark that made it 21-5. She finished with 10 points.
"We felt coming in the single most important factor was getting pressure on the basketball," LSU coach Pokey Chatman said.
Feenstra was averaging 18.1 points and 10.3 rebounds but finished with nine points and 12 rebounds.
The senior left the game with three minutes left to warm applause from the Liberty fans. School co-founder, the Rev. Jerry Falwell, clapped as the Lady Flames continued to compete.
"Our team has achieved landmark achievements. God has been good to us and blessed us," Liberty coach Carey Green said. "These are going to be memories we're not going to forget."
Augustus scored 32 points combined in the Lady Tigers' first two tournament games over Stetson and Arizona. Johnson added 29 points and 16 assists in the two contests.
Neither one was interested in seeing how much farther Liberty could go in the tournament. Augustus had 18 points, and Johnson had seven points and nine assists by halftime.
"There's no time to come out slow and give them the luxury of hanging around," Johnson said.
Johnson's assist total Saturday set a record for this regional.
Liberty dropped to 0-8 against Southeastern Conference teams in the NCAA Tournament. LSU beat the Lady Flames by 23 in the first round in 2000.