9:00 PM ET, January 4, 2006
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) -- No. 3 LSU was unstoppable even when its shots weren't falling.Terrific scorers and an overwhelming defense can do that for a team.Sylvia Fowles scored 23 points, Seimone Augustus had 21 and the two led a strong defensive effort in LSU's 65-38 victory over Auburn on Wednesday night.Scholanda Hoston added 15 points, combining with Fowles and Augustus for all but six points for LSU (12-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference). Fowles and Augustus had five steals apiece, while Fowles also had nine rebounds. Hoston had four steals and four assists."We established our defense first and sort of kept them off-balance," LSU coach Pokey Chatman said. "We also shot 60 percent in the first half. That's something good to happen for you when you're clicking on both ends of the floor."The only other LSU player to score was Quianna Chaney, who had all of her points in the second half. Other than Fowles, Augustus and Hoston, the rest of the Tigers shot just 2-for-17. It hardly mattered for a team that held its opponent below 45 points for the third straight game.Nitasha Brown scored 14 points for Auburn (9-5), which shot just 36 percent and lost its SEC opener to snap a five-game winning streak."No one on this team was intimidated," Brown said. "You just buckle down on defense. Defense wasn't too much of a problem tonight. We just had a lot of turnovers."In fact, LSU scored 33 points off 23 Auburn turnovers, including 14 steals. LSU managed to nearly double a 40-23 halftime lead despite making just 10-of-30 shots in the second half after hitting 62 percent before the break."There was no defensive dropoff," Chatmon said. "We found other areas to make up for it."Auburn never had an answer for Fowles inside, as she positioned herself for shot after shot. She was 9-of-12 shooting and drew high praise from the opposing coach."I think she's absolutely amazing," said Auburn's Nell Fortner, a former WNBA coach. "I've seen a lot of basketball players, but I have not seen another player that is as physically gifted as that young lady. Ever."Fowles wasn't feeling too guilty for picking on Auburn."That's my goal: To show no pity on anybody," she said.LSU forced a steady stream of turnovers in its halfcourt defense, at one point getting three consecutive layups off steals during a 15-0 first-half run.That spurt turned a three-point game into a rout and it stayed that way for the duration. Auburn managed to cut no more than two points off LSU's halftime lead in the second half."LSU is talked about mostly in terms of their offense," Fortner said. "They're a heck of a good defensive team, too. They're very strong on both ends of the floor."LSU forward Florence Williams, averaging 5.5 points and 3.1 rebounds, served the first game of a three-game suspension for violating team rules.
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Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||28-54 (.519)||16-46 (.348)|
|3P Made-Attempted||3-12 (.250)||2-11 (.182)|
|FT Made-Attempted||6-10 (.600)||6-7 (.857)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||8 (0/0)||9 (0/0)|