BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- Sylvia Fowles raised her intensity in
the second half and the rest of the LSU Lady Tigers followed.
Fowles set career highs with 26 points and 22 rebounds, and
Augustus scored 28 points to lead the Lady Tigers (No. 5 ESPN/USA Today; No. 4 AP)
past No. 22 Vanderbilt 75-53 on Thursday night.
"Sylvia realized the last few times out she hadn't played to
her capability," head coach Pokey Chatman said. "When she came
out of the locker room at half, she made a conscious effort to
establish herself and use some of her speed and quickness."
Fowles scored 10 points in a 1-minute span of the second half
for LSU (17-1, 6-0 SEC), which led by one at halftime before
outscoring Vanderbilt 47-26 in the second period. The Lady Tigers
moved into sole possession of first place in the SEC thanks to
Tennessee's loss at Kentucky.
Fowles was 10-of-18 from the field and 6-of-8 from the
free-throw line. Augustus was 11-of-14 from the field and made all
six of her free throws.
"Coach Chatman said in the locker room at halftime that I
didn't have any fouls," said Fowles, who had six first-half
points. "To me that meant I wasn't playing aggressive, so I had to
go out there and bang."
Rachel Brockman led Vanderbilt (13-7, 2-4) with a career-high 14
points, all in the second half. Caroline Williams added 11.
Vanderbilt starting point guard Dee Davis did not play because
of a knee injury. Liz Sherwood, the Commodores' leading scorer, did
not start and had just two points in 12 minutes.
"The big thing was that we broke down defensively at the start
of the second half," Vanderbilt coach Melanie Balcomb said.
"Checking out was a huge problem. On offense, we didn't execute.
LSU had some steals and stripped us a couple of times. They got
some easy transition buckets off steals."
The Commodores, who have lost three straight, tied the score at
34 on a basket by Nicole Jules less than 4 minutes into the second
half. Fowles then made a field goal to give the Lady Tigers the
lead with 16:01 remaining, starting a 24-3 run.
Following a basket by Erica White, Fowles converted a pair of
three-point plays. The second one, which came with 15:02 left, put
LSU ahead 44-34.
Williams made a basket for Vanderbilt before Fowles scored the
next five points on a field goal and another three-point play.
After a 3-pointer by Quianna Chaney, two foul shots by Augustus and
a basket by Florence Williams, Fowles hit another shot to put LSU
ahead 58-37 with 9:18 left and cap the outburst.
White finished with a career-best 14 assists and seven points.
LSU jumped out to an 18-7 lead in the first 10 minutes behind
Augustus. During that stretch, she made four field goals and two
Vanderbilt, which missed 11 of its first 14 shots, reduced its
deficit by knocking down 3-pointers. Trailing 28-19, the Commodores
scored the final eight points of the half.
After a field goal by Liz Sherwood, Vanderbilt closed the
first-half scoring on 3-pointers by Williams and Holly Rogers. The
Commodores shot 33 percent from the field, but made five of their
seven 3-point attempts.
Augustus had 16 first-half points on 7-of-10 shooting with her
teammates making just five of 24 field-goal attempts.