BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- Van Chancellor knew that his job in his first year as LSU's basketball coach was to upgrade the Lady Tigers' offense.
He appears to be on track after No. 5 LSU routed Samford 86-38 in the opening round of the Preseason WNIT on Friday night.LSU shot 57 percent from the field, including 8-of-17 from 3-point range. Quianna Chaney and Allison Hightower set career highs with 25 and 17 points, respectively."I said all along that this team will only go as far as our shooting will carry us," Chancellor said. "It's my job to improve our offense. It's not every game you're going to play in that you're going to be satisfied in every aspect of the game."LSU will face TCU in the second round on Sunday. TCU defeated Radford 74-63 in its first-round matchup.Chaney made nine of 13 shots from the field, including three of five 3-point attempts. She also finished with a game-high five assists."I felt pretty good out there," Chaney said. "Coach Chancellor's goal is for you to take the shot if you are open."The only other Lady Tigers player to score in double figures was Sylvia Fowles, who finished with 10. She played just 16 minutes due to foul trouble.Monica Maxwell scored eight points to lead the Bulldogs. Samford shot just 28 percent from the field and committed 28 turnovers."The only way to beat them was to force them to make 3's," Samford coach Mike Morris said. "They made them. The biggest difference from last year was they were more perimeter-oriented. It looked like they played with more energy when Sylvia was out."Samford had one-point leads twice in the first three minutes. A 3-pointer by Maxwell put the Bulldogs ahead 3-2. Then, a field goal by Megan Wilderotter gave Samford a 5-4 lead.But LSU responded with 17 consecutive points over a seven-minute span. Chaney and Hightower combined to score all the points in the run except two. Chaney ignited the streak with nine points on three baskets and a three-point play.Hightower, who equaled her career high of 14 points in the first half, followed with two baskets. After Erica White's field goal, Hightower put the Lady Tigers ahead 21-5 with another basket."I felt really comfortable tonight," Hightower said. "I didn't hesitate this time. Coach Chancellor told me I would be hesitant sometimes."Chaney had 12 points as LSU took a 44-19 advantage into halftime. She scored 13 points in the first four minutes of the second half, knocking down four straight, including two 3-pointers, as LSU jumped ahead 59-25.