March 21, 2006
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - LSU was at its best for less than 15 minutes Monday night - and that was enough to blowout Washington.
Seimone Augustus scored 26 points and top-seeded LSU broke open a tight game with a big second-half run, beating Washington 72-49 in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
The Lady Tigers (29-3) advanced to their fourth straight regional semifinal and 10th overall, but that's not the goal this season for a program that reached the Final Four each of the past two years only to come up short of the national championship game.
They will play DePaul, a 71-67 winner over Tulsa, on Saturday in the San Antonio Regional.
Ninth-seeded Washington (19-11) tried to pull off a second straight upset to reach a regional semifinal for the fourth time in school history and first since 2001. The Huskies certainly gave the Southeastern Conference's regular season champs their best shot.
LSU outrebounded Washington 44-42 only after a late run on the boards in a physical game that sent players flying all over. They also shut out both Augustus and 6-foot-6 center Sylvia Fowles on the boards in the first half. That helped Washington lead 26-23 at halftime.
Even when LSU opened the second half with a 12-2 run, the Huskies wouldn't bow out easily.
Cheri Craddock hit a 3 followed by another 3 from Kristen O'Neill, and Cameo Hicks capped the eight-point spurt with a bucket at 14:01 that put Washington up 38-37. That was the Huskies' last lead as they failed to hit anything other than a pair of free throws until it was way too late.
Augustus scored 61 seconds later to put LSU ahead to stay, starting a 27-6 run that left the Lady Tigers up 64-44 late.
Scholanda Hoston added 13 points for LSU, and Fowles finished with 10 points and seven rebounds. Augustus had nine rebounds.
Hicks led Washington with 17 points.
LSU opened up the game with an 11-2 run as Washington missed its first five shots. Then the Huskies started doing what they do best - crash the boards.
They wound up outrebounding LSU 28-16 through the first half. The Huskies went so hard after rebounds that Breanne Watson got her left arm caught under LSU guard Erica White's right arm, flipped completely over before landing on her back.
The Lady Tigers also went cold from the floor after hitting four of their first seven shots. LSU finished the half 4-of-22.