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No. 3 LSU clinches share of SEC title after routing 'Bama

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- Seimone Augustus and Sylvia Fowles
needed plenty of help from their LSU teammates to clinch a share of
the Southeastern Conference title Thursday night.

After all, somebody had to pass the high-scoring duo the ball.

Augustus scored 32 points and Fowles had 28 points and 13
rebounds to lead the third-ranked Tigers to an 86-61 victory over
Alabama on Thursday night.

The duo of Augustus and Fowles took turns dominating the game
for LSU (24-2, 12-1), which led by only six at halftime. Augustus
scored 20 points in the first half and Fowles had 22 after that to
help LSU pull away.

With the win, LSU secured the No. 1 seed for the SEC tournament
entering the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.

"It's just another opportunity to win a championship, something
that doesn't come easy," Augustus said.

The points sure did seem to come easy for she and Fowles, who
made all but seven of LSU's field goals. They weren't ballhogs
either, since the Tigers had 23 assists on 34 baskets.

"That's a product of good offense," LSU coach Pokey Chatman
said. "You know Seimone's not coming down one-on-one getting those
shots. She's getting those shots in the flow of the offense."

The Crimson Tide (9-17, 3-10) endured its second straight loss
to a top-five team, having fallen to No. 5 Tennessee on Sunday.

Augustus ended the game with 2,486 career points, just two
behind Julie Ross for No. 2 on the school's career list. She and
Fowles both sat out the final 5 minutes with the game well in hand.

Lauren Hill led Alabama with 17 points, while Navonda Moore had
13 and Harriet Barnes 10.

The Tigers forced 30 turnovers while only committing 12. They
shot 51.5 percent.

LSU led only 37-31 at halftime, largely because Augustus was the
only player whose shots were falling. With a combination of jumpers
and inside moves, her eight first-half field goals were only one
fewer than Alabama managed.

With her team unable to take control, Chatman summed up her mood
at halftime as "frustrated" and "disappointed".

"Those are two pretty good words for it, mainly because it was
easy to decipher the role Alabama played and also the role we
played in it," she said.

Chatman was decidedly happier in the second half, when the
Tigers shot 59 percent and scored almost at will around the basket.
Both Augustus -- who made both her 3-point attempts in the first
half -- and Fowles went inside for most of their points after the
half.

LSU pulled away with a 14-5 run to start the second half and
Alabama could never come closer than 13 after that.

"I wanted us to have a little more sense of urgency because we
had an opportunity to play for a share of a championship," Chatman
said. "It's nice to see us understand that, process that and come
out in the second half and establish some things that have been
good for us all year."

Alabama had no answer for Fowles and Augustus, who were a
combined 27-for-41 from the floor. The rest of the Tigers were
7-for-25, but Augustus and three of her teammates each had at least
four assists.

"It was disappointing for us to be as lethargic as we were and
just emotionless even when we were down six points," Alabama coach
Stephany Smith said. "We never showed a sense of urgency and never
really found a rhythm.

"Obviously LSU had a lot to do with that."

LSU took control of the game early in the second half,
repeatedly going inside to Augustus and Fowles for the first 16
points.

"Fowles just had a heyday within an inch of the rim the entire
last 20 minutes of the basketball game," Smith said.