8:00 PM ET, January 19, 2006
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- LSU had another strong defensive effort, holding Alabama to its lowest output of the season.The Lady Tigers (No. 4 ESPN/USA Today; No. 3 AP) raised their defense to another level Thursday night, holding the Crimson Tide to just 35 percent shooting and forcing them to commit 31 turnovers in a 79-43 victory."I was pleased with our energy level throughout the game," LSU coach Pokey Chatman said. "Our trapping on the side and underneath put a lot of pressure on Alabama. We didn't let them get into anything. We forced turnovers and were able to get some points."Seimone Augustus scored 20 points and shot 9-for-16 from the field. It was the 11th time in 16 games this season she's scored at least 20 points. Quianna Chaney had 18 points, and Florence Williams matched career highs with 16 points and 12 rebounds.Almost half of the Lady Tigers' points came off Crimson Tide turnovers. Scholanda Hoston had six steals, while Seimone Augustus and Erica White each had four. LSU (15-1, 4-0 SEC) ended up with 34 points after Alabama floor errors.The 36-point margin of defeat was the Tide's largest of the season."Our defense was tenacious," Augustus said. "We had the energy which we didn't have at Connecticut. The defense initiated a lot of our offense."White, who replaced the injured RaShonta LeBlanc in the starting lineup at point guard, also had 10 points and six assists. LeBlanc injured an ankle at practice Wednesday."It was a little bit different since I had to get things started," said White, who made her first career start. "Usually I have to maintain things when I come into the game. I thought I played okay. A lot of times I could've done better in getting the team into things."Marverly Nettles led the Crimson Tide (8-9, 2-2) with 19 points. She was 8-of-12 from the field, accounting for half of Alabama's field goals made.LSU seized control of the game in the first half when Alabama struggled through an offensive nightmare. The Crimson Tide did not get off a shot until its fifth possession. By halftime, Alabama had 19 turnovers and an equal number of field goal attempts."We got frustrated," Alabama coach Stephany Smith said. "We couldn't execute very well and LSU's defensive pressure had everything to do with it. They had us on our heels all night long. They have smothersome athleticism."Nettles scored 12 of the Crimson Tide's 18 first-half points. She was 5-of-7 from the field, while her teammates were just 1-for-12.LSU's offense was slowed by Alabama's zone defense in the first half. Sylvia Fowles, who played just 10 minutes because of foul trouble, scored two points. Two stretches allowed the Lady Tigers to take a 35-18 halftime advantage.A 10-0 run put LSU ahead 16-5 with 11:35 remaining in the half. Augustus had two of the Lady Tigers' five baskets during stretch. Just before halftime, LSU outscored the Crimson Tide 11-2 to build its largest lead of the half at 35-16. White made a three-point play and sank two foul shots in that spurt.LSU opened the second half with a 10-2 run in which Augustus scored seven points. The Lady Tigers led by at least 23 points the rest of the way.