<
>

LSU knocks off South Carolina for 17th straight SEC win

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- LSU started the impressive defensive
effort in the first half and really turned it up in the second. The
third-ranked Lady Tigers held South Carolina to two field goals
over a 15-minute stretch in a 79-46 victory Thursday night.

Trailing 24-20, South Carolina got field goals from Shannel
Harris and Stacy Booker in the final 8 minutes of the first half.
LSU (14-0, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) scored 14 points in that
span to take a 38-24 lead.

The Gamecocks (9-6, 0-3) didn't score in the second half until
Booker made a field goal just over 7 minutes in. The Lady Tigers
scored 12 points during that time and coasted to their 24th
consecutive win at home.

"Overall it comes down to our defensive effort," LSU coach
Pokey Chatman said. "We had 47 deflections, and that's always
something good because that means you're able to pressure the
basketball and not let them feel comfortable in their sets."

Seimone Augustus had 22 points for the Lady Tigers, who have won
17 straight conference games. Sylvia Fowles had 15 points and 12
rebounds for LSU, while Quianna Chaney scored 12 points and
Schloanda Hoston had 11.

Booker led South Carolina with 15 points. Lauren Simms, who
scored 13 points, was the only Gamecocks starter to make more than
field goal. The 31-point loss was the largest of the season for the
Gamecocks, whose previous worst defeat was a 66-51 setback to No. 1
Tennessee.

"This LSU team is loaded with All-Americans and top recruits,"
South Carolina coach Susan Walvius said. "I'm really impressed
with their team, their system, their discipline. We need to just
let this one roll."

LSU made its first five shots in the second half in a 12-0 run
that gave the Lady Tigers a 50-24 lead with 16:58 remaining in the
game.

South Carolina would not score its first points of the second
half until Booker made a shot just over 7 minutes in. Following
their quick start, the Lady Tigers went scoreless for nearly 5
minutes. Hoston broke that dry spell with a field goal at the 12:13
mark.

During the final 12 minutes, LSU maintained at least a 23-point
lead. The Lady Tigers held the Gamecocks to their lowest offensive
output of the season and South Carolina committed a season-high 29
turnovers, which led to 34 LSU points.

"Staying focused was hard," Hoston said. "Our mentality
coming out of halftime was to jump on them early."

Consecutive 3-pointers by Booker brought the Gamecocks within
24-20 with 8:07 left in the half. Augustus and Fowles then led Lady
Tigers on a 14-2 run that gave them a 38-22 lead. Augustus hit a
3-pointer and a basket in the run, while Fowles made two field
goals.

The Gamecocks shot 53 percent from the field in the opening 20
minutes, but committed 13 turnovers.

"LSU really does a nice job guarding the perimeter and
pressuring the basketball," Walvius said. "The one thing LSU does
different from other teams is they have extremely active hands on
the ball. They get a lot of deflections and play the passing lanes.
Teams tend to throw [ball] away because it looks like the passing
lanes are open."