NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Sylvia Fowles got in early foul trouble and
took some pointed criticism from her coach at halftime, then
emerged as the dominant force in yet another LSU victory.
Fowles scored 18 points, all in the second half, grabbed nine of
her 10 rebounds in the final 20 minutes and No. 6 LSU extended its
winning streak to eight games with a 61-44 victory over Louisiana
Tech on Saturday.
"The difference in this game was one player: Sylvia Fowles,"
Louisiana Tech coach Chris Long said. "We had no answer for her.
LSU is a good defensive team and when she is in the game they
become a great defensive team. ... Fowles is just incredible and
there was nothing that we could do."
Ashley Thomas and Quianna Chaney each scored 11 points for LSU
(13-1), which won for the fourth time in its last five meetings
Ty Moore led the Lady Techsters (5-8) with 14 points and nine
rebounds. She was the only Louisiana Tech player in double figures.
Amber Metoyer had 11 rebounds for Tech, which saw its winning
streak end at three games.
Fowles picked up two early personal fouls and played only seven
minutes in the first half. LSU coach Pokey Chatman was annoyed with
the first foul, which came away from the basket against Moore, who
does most of her scoring inside.
"I addressed how unintelligent those fouls were Sylvia picked
up," Chatman said. "She didn't foul a jump shooter, she fouled
someone taking a jump shot and that's a shot we want that post
player to take. That's what Sylvia has to understand. She still has
a lot to learn, but her attitude is good and she'll continue to
The 6-foot-5 center, who came in averaging 17.2 points and 10
rebounds, certainly improved in the second half and LSU turned a
20-19 halftime deficit into a lead as large as 17.
Chaney's 3-pointer put LSU ahead 24-22 with 17:05 to go and
marked the beginning of a 17-4 run, capped by Thomas' jumper with
10:13 left, that put the Lady Tigers in control for good.
During that decisive span, Fowles had five points, four rebounds
and three blocks.
"It just was all about motivation for us to out there and do
what we were capable of doing," Fowles said. "We played sluggish
in the first half, I got in foul trouble and that was basically
LSU scored the first seven points of the game, but Louisiana
Tech quickly fought back and took its first lead at 11-9 on Sierra
Nixon's jumper with 9:35 remaining in the first half. Neither team
shot better than 30 percent through the first 20 minutes, and
JoKierra Sneed's foul shot gave Tech its slim halftime lead.
The Lady Tigers shot 51.4 percent in the second half and pulled
away. LSU held Tech to 28.3 percent shooting for the game.
Chatman said LSU was fortunate that its defense remained solid,
as it has most of the season, even as the Lady Tigers struggled to
make shots in the first half. Still, the coach came away from the
game somewhat unsatisfied with LSU's effort on the offensive end.
"We had missed so many shots in the first half, how come we did
not retrieve more offensive boards? A lot of coaches can live with
missed shots if they're good shots, and I didn't think we took a
lot of bad shots. At some point those become a test of your
character," Chatman said. "Good teams find a way to win. I don't
want to be a good team. I want to be a great team."
LSU was the home team, but instead of playing in Baton Rouge,
the Lady Tigers hosted the game in New Orleans and billed it as the
Katrina Relief Basketball Classic. The idea was Chatman's. All
proceeds from the game were donated to New Orleans Habitat for
Humanity and the Friend of New Orleans Recreation Department.