Augustus, LSU win second straight SEC title

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- Seimone Augustus made a commitment to LSU four years ago.

On Sunday, LSU fans turned out to say thanks.

Augustus scored a game-high 27 points to lead the third-ranked Lady Tigers to a 62-48 victory over Mississippi State in front of 10,074 fans. Playing in her final home game, the senior and reigning national player of the year set a school record in starting her 132nd straight game.

She also moved into second place on the school's all-time scoring list (2,513), surpassing Julie Gross.

LSU (25-2, 13-1 SEC) won its second straight Southeastern Conference regular-season title as well.

In four years, the Augustus-led senior class helped the Lady Tigers to a 115-17 overall record, two SEC titles and a pair of Final Four appearances.

"I told everybody I wasn't going to cry," Augustus said. "I don't think tears would have helped the situation. There were enough emotional people in here. I didn't want to bring the house down."

LSU closed out the first half on a 15-2 run, holding the Lady Bulldogs to two free throws during the stretch, to take 31-18 halftime lead.

"When things were a little bit sluggish for us it was always a senior who got a big rebound, hit a big shot, got a loose ball or a steal that kept us together when things weren't going real well," LSU head coach Pokey Chatman said. "Those are things that are not often seen when you are winning basketball games, but I am on the inside looking out, so I see them all of the time."

The Lady Tigers extended their lead to 40-20 after opening the second half on a 9-2 run and never looked back. Mississippi State never got any closer than 14 points the rest of the way.

"We lost focus in the first half, but we definitely fought back in the second half to try to cut [the lead] to single digits," Mississippi State coach Sharon Fanning said. "The fight is very important and we need to value every possession."

Augustus' final shot proved to be a memorable one. She flashed to the top of the key, shook loose from her defender with a crossover dribble and drained a 15-footer, which brought the crowd to its feet.

"I am just glad it went in," grinned Augustus, who along with fellow seniors Scholanda Hoston and Florence Williams played in the Maravich Center for the final time.

Sylvia Fowles was the only other LSU player to finish in double figures, notching a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Robin Porter led Mississippi State (6-21, 1-13) with 17 points and nine rebounds. Mamie McKinney added 14 for the Lady Bulldogs.

As the final horn sounded, a 2006 SEC champion banner was unfurled from the arena's rafters.

"It may be the final game for these three seniors," Chatman said. "But the one thing that feels good is watching banners drop in here, and we are going to try our hardest to keep that going."