1:00 PM ET, March 7, 2008
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Van Chancellor joked that he first went to the TV dressing room Friday instead of LSU's locker room.Once on the court, the Hall of Fame coach showed he knows just how to keep a team rolling.Quianna Chaney scored 17 points and LSU (No. 6 ESPN/USA Today, No. 7 AP) beat Mississippi 80-36 Friday to reach the Southeastern Conference tournament semifinals for the seventh straight year. The 44-point margin of victory was the tournament's biggest since Tennessee's 61-point win over Vanderbilt in the 1998 semifinals."It's been a long time since I've been here, and it feels good to be in the semifinals," said Chancellor, who last reached the SEC tournament semifinals in 1993 while coaching Ole Miss.The top-seeded Lady Tigers (26-4) will play Kentucky on Saturday night. They're trying to reach the championship game for the fourth consecutive season but have only two tournament titles overall and none since 2003.If the Lady Tigers need any extra motivation, they picked up their trophy for winning the regular-season championship before tipoff."We're trying to play with that championship swagger," senior guard Erica White said.Ole Miss (13-16) has lost to LSU in the quarterfinals in four of the last five years, but this was the worst beating by either team in this series. The Lady Rebels are 0-4 against the tournament's No. 1 seed, but this time they set a tournament record with the fewest points scored in a game. The previous mark had been 39 by Auburn in 2002."Hats off to LSU," Ole Miss coach Renee Ladner said. "They were much better. They were well prepared, and they looked like a championship team. And we were just not at our best."Sylvia Fowles had 10 points and 10 rebounds in just 17 minutes for LSU, which had 12 different players score.Carla Bartee, a reserve, led Ole Miss with nine points.Chancellor, who never won an SEC tournament title during the 19 seasons he coached Mississippi, shared hugs with the Lady Rebels' coaching staff before the game. That included Ladner, who played for Chancellor in high school and college, and associate head coach Peggy Gillom, who played for and coached with Chancellor at Ole Miss and in the WNBA.The relationships made the biggest victory in school history a bittersweet victory for Chancellor, who was decked out in gold pants and a gold and purple tie."I hate for the score to be like that for their sake because I wouldn't be here today if it weren't for Renee and Peggy and players like that. It's about my players for me, and I really feel for them today," he said.Fowles played only 10 minutes of the first half because of foul trouble but the Lady Tigers quickly took control. They were up by 20 at halftime and pushed that lead to as much as 48 in the second half.The Lady Rebels tried to play tough against the team that beat them 78-48 on Feb. 17. Shawn Goff, giving up three inches, blocked a layup attempt by Fowles. They also managed to send Fowles to the sideline when she picked up two fouls within 11 seconds.Then Ole Miss went cold from the floor and scored only two free throws by Goff over nearly 6 1/2 minutes."They still put the hammer to our necks and killed us in every step," Ole Miss senior Danetra Forrest said.Seven of the eight Lady Tigers who got on the floor in the first half scored, and they led 39-19 at halftime.Chaney hit three of four 3s within the first 6 minutes after the break, pushing LSU's lead to 54-22 with 14:30 remaining. That allowed Chancellor to pull his starters and rest them for Saturday. With his reserves playing Ole Miss' starters until late, LSU kept pushing and led by as much as 48 when Latear Eason scored on a fastbreak layup with 4:30 to go to make it 77-29.
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Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||14-62 (.226)||30-60 (.500)|
|3P Made-Attempted||2-14 (.143)||7-16 (.438)|
|FT Made-Attempted||6-8 (.750)||13-20 (.650)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||17 (0/0)||15 (0/0)|