7:00 PM ET, February 9, 2006
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Third-ranked LSU is the new team to beat in the Southeastern Conference.The Lady Tigers became the first SEC team to win at Tennessee in nearly 10 years with a 72-69 victory Thursday night and moved closer to winning a second straight regular-season league title.Seimone Augustus scored 32 points, Scholanda Hoston added 18 and Sylvia Fowles had 10 points and 15 rebounds for LSU (21-1, 9-0).The fifth-ranked Lady Vols (21-3, 7-2) had not lost a league game in Thompson-Boling Arena since a loss to Georgia on Dec. 8, 1996, a span of 64 games. LSU was 0-16 in Knoxville."Right now my thoughts aren't so much about ending the homecourt streak as just getting ready for Vanderbilt (on Sunday)," Tennessee coach Pat Summitt said."It's not a time for us to be feeling sorry for ourselves. We did a lot of good things, particularly in the second half. We have to get back tomorrow and keep things pointed in the right direction as a basketball team."Most of the LSU players were unaware of their place in history until coach Pokey Chatman told them in the locker room after the game."It's great to be the first team to win here," Augustus said. "I think it was kind of an emotional thing for everybody who's a part of it from the coaches, the managers, the trainers. Everybody felt something."The Lady Vols won seven consecutive SEC regular-season crowns until last year when LSU beat Tennessee in Baton Rouge to earn its first title.But the Lady Vols got revenge by beating then-No. 1 LSU 67-65 to win the SEC tournament championship.Tennessee needed to beat LSU to get back into the conference race. The Lady Vols have lost two league games for the first time since 1996-97 when they were 8-4."This conference doesn't allow you to enjoy it a whole lot because you know there's a talented Georgia basketball team that got to sit home and rest," Chatman said. "It has to be huge for the players to come in here and play against a quality opponent like Tennessee."The Lady Tigers became only the third SEC team and eighth team overall to win in Knoxville, joining Duke, Connecticut, Louisiana Tech, Georgia, Texas, Stanford and Auburn. It was Tennessee's 15th loss in the arena which opened in the 1987-88 season.The Lady Vols' first two losses this season came in consecutive games at Duke and at Kentucky. Their next game is against Vanderbilt here."We're not going to lose Sunday," Lady Vol Shanna Zolman said.LSU got off to a big lead early, going up 11-1 in the opening minutes. The Lady Tigers led by as many as 13 in the first half before a much tighter second half set up a hectic ending.The Lady Vols were ahead 67-66 with 2:19 remaining, before Augustus gave LSU the lead for good. Hoston pushed it to 70-67 with another basket, and Candace Parker pulled Tennessee within one with 46.8 seconds to go.Fowles got open on the next possession and scored easily with 20 seconds left for the final margin.Tennessee's Dominique Redding had a shot blocked in the final seconds, and Parker fouled Augustus on the rebound. Augustus missed both free throws with 6.2 remaining to give the Lady Vols some hope.Zolman dribbled up the court and passed the ball as she was falling down to Redding, who couldn't get off a shot. The game ended with the Lady Vols and Summitt standing in silence.Tennessee's Alexis Hornbuckle was called for a technical in a key sequence down the stretch. She tied it at 62 on a layup with 4:19 remaining and was fouled.Hornbuckle said the referee called a foul on her for taunting after the play.Chatman sent Augustus to the line, and she made both shots for the technical to put LSU back in the lead. Hornbuckle then made her free throw."From my viewpoint, she was excited about the play. I want to take a look at it," Summitt said. "I thought she was just excited, but (official) June (Courteau) jumped on it. I hope she made the right call."Augustus was 10-for-20 from the floor and 10-for-12 from the free-throw line. Fowles played only 27 minutes because of foul trouble, and she was briefly on the bench before halftime after falling on her back.Parker led the Lady Vols with 23 points. Tye'sha Fluker had 14 and Hornbuckle added 11. Zolman was just 2-for-11 from the field.The Lady Tigers extended their SEC winning streak to 23 games. Their last loss was on Feb. 29, 2004, at Tennessee.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||27-55 (.491)||28-63 (.444)|
|3P Made-Attempted||3-4 (.750)||5-17 (.294)|
|FT Made-Attempted||15-22 (.682)||8-14 (.571)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||15 (0/0)||17 (0/0)|