February 14, 2008

LSU knocks off No. 1 Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- LSU shook off an early 21-2 defecit at No. 1 Tennessee and took sole control of the SEC standings with a 78-62 win over the Lady Vols. It was LSU's second straight win over Tennessee.

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No. 1 Tennessee goes down

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- Tennessee built a 21-2 lead over LSU early in the first half, then watched everything fall apart. They dropped their first home game of the season to the Tigers 78-62 as LSU went on a 76-41 run to end the game.

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Things not looking good for No. 1 Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- It looks like No. 1 Tennessee will drop its first home game the season. They currently trail No. 7 LSU 69-58 with two minutes left in the game. The Tigers have simply been too tough in the second half for Tennessee and have really limited their touches inside.

LSU stretches lead to double digits

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- LSU has stretched its lead over No. 1 Tennessee to 62-51 behind a 7-0 run over the last minute and a half. There is less than four minutes left in the game.

Lady Vols frustrated by LSU defense

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- No. 1 Tennessee looks frustrated against LSU's defense in the second half as they trail 50-44. The Lady Vols have only scored 11 points in the first 13 minutes of the second half.

One of the biggest problems has been their lack of motion on offense. Their is very little movement, players seem content with standing and watching Candace Parker try to back down her defender in the post.

There is 7:19 remaining in the game.

Hightower, Fowles problems for Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- LSU has extended its lead to 44-40 over No. 1 Tennessee eight minutes into the second half. One of the Lady Vols biggest problems on the defensive end has been defending LSU's Allison Hightower who has been deadly from mid-range. She leads the Tigers with 10 points.

LSU pulls ahead behind its defense

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- LSU has pulled ahead over No. 1 Tennessee 35-34 four minutes into the second half using something it's accusomed to, playing great defense. The Tigers give up less than 50 points a game this year and are really frustrating the Lady Vols tonight. LSU has 12 steals in teh game, four of which came in the second half.

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Anosike hurt as LSU closes gap at the half

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- LSU was once down 21-2 in the first half, but came storming back to cut the Tennessee lead to 33-30.

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LSU comes storming back

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- LSU was once down 19 points in the first half, but has just used a barrage of 3-pointers to cut the Tennessee lead to 29-28. The Lady Vols have gone ice cold from the floor of late and have more turnovers in teh last 10 minutes than they do points.

Parker outscoring LSU

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- Candace Parker has really gotten off to a fast start tonight outscoring LSU by herself 15-12. As a team Tennessee leads the game 27-12. LSU managed to cut the Lady Vol lead to 11 behind a 7-0 run, but Tennessee came right back and scored seven straight to build the lead back up.

LSU struggling to score

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- Tenessee has jumped out to a 21-5 lead over LSU nine minutes into the game. The Tigers have had real problems scoring early on. The Lady Vols already have as many steals as LSU has points. The lone bright spot for the Tigers, they are currently on a 3-0 run.

Parker double figures already

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.-Candace Parker only needed four mintues to reach double digits tonight. She already has 11 points and has scored in a variety of ways, whether it's free-throws, hook shots or a 3-pointer from the wing. Tennessee leads 16-2 with 15:32 left in the first half.

Lady Vols jump out to early double-digit lead

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- Candace Parker and Alexis Hornbuckle have helped No. 1 Tennessee jump out to a 14-2 lead four minutes into the game. Both players have hit 3-pointers and are playing especially well early on. Parker seems to be getting to the basket at will.

Battle for first in SEC standings

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- First place in the SEC standings is on the line tonight as No. 1 Tennessee and No. 7 LSU square off in Thompson-Boling Arena. Both teams are undefeated in league play this season.

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December 16, 2007

No signs of rust for Lady Tigers

RUSTON, La. - Right now, No. 8 LSU is probably wishing it had more 14-day layoffs in a season.

Before Sunday afternoon, LSU last saw game action Dec. 2 against Tulane. Two weeks of practice and game film proved to be a winning formula for the Lady Tigers on Sunday as they defeated Louisiana Tech, 76-45, at the Thomas Assembly Center.

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Lady Tigers cruise to victory

RUSTON, La. - No. 8 LSU had no problem with Louisiana Tech on Sunday afternoon, defeating the Lady Techsters on the road, 76-45.

Center Sylvia Fowles led all scorers with 16 points and also pulled down eight rebounds. Check back later for postgame analysis and quotes.

Crowd slowly vacating

RUSTON, La. - Fans in the Thomas Assembly Center are beginning to head for the exits as LSU holds a 72-41 advantage with 2:30 remaining in the game.

The Lady Techsters put up a good fight but were clearly overmatched in terms of talent and preparation.

A loss would be Louisiana Tech's fourth in a row at home.

Reserves begin to see action

RUSTON, La. - LSU coach Van Chancellor has begun to rest his key players on the way to what is most likely the Lady Tigers' seventh win of the season.

With 7:47 left in the game, four of LSU's five starters are on the bench. Only guard Quianna Chaney is still on the court.

The Lady Tigers lead the Lady Techsters, 62-33.

It's getting ugly

RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech's shooting woes have continued in the second half, and LSU has opened up a 56-30 lead with 12:00 remaining in the game.

LSU is outrebounding Louisiana Tech, 30-27, and also has eight steals compared to the Lady Techsters' zero.

Lady Tigers' forward Ashley Thomas appears to be on pace for a season high in points. Thomas currently has 10. Her 2007-2008 high of 11 points came against Houston on Nov. 29.

Mid-range game

RUSTON, La. - LSU's first three field-goal attempts after the break have been mid-range jumpers.

All three of those attempts were converted. LSU has pushed its lead to 46-23 early in the second half and forced Louisiana Tech to use a timeout two minutes into the half.

LSU sharp on both ends

RUSTON, La. - No. 8 LSU is clicking on all cylinders in the first half against Louisiana Tech.

The Lady Tigers hit 50 percent of their shots in the first half and started the game 8-of-9. They hold a 40-22 lead over Louisiana Tech at halftime.

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Lady Tigers defense impressive

RUSTON, La. - The Lady Techsters started the game 3-of-6 from the field, but have since connected on only five of their 16 shot attempts.

Turnovers are also hurting Louisiana Tech. The Lady Techsters have committed 12 in the first 17:30 of the game. LSU is holding a comfortable 14-point lead with a little more than two minutes left in the half.

Putting up a fight

RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech put together a quick 8-0 run after the first media timeout to close LSU's lead to three points.

But since then, the Lady Tigers have found their hot shooting touch again and pushed their lead to 26-17 with 7:49 left in the first half.

LSu has tried to establish Sylvia Fowles in the low post early in the game. Fowles has six points so far but has missed four of her last five shot attempts.

Louisiana Tech's Tiawanna Pringle leads all scorers with 10 points.

Lady Tigers on fire early

RUSTON, La. - It appears the LSU-Louisiana Tech game may be in the early stages of a blowout.

The Lady Tigers have hit eight of their first nine shots and have jumped out to a 17-8 lead with a little less than 15 minutes left in the first half.

Louisiana Tech has hit 50 percent of its shots but has been unable to slow down LSU so far.

Lady Tigers battle Lady Techsters in Ruston

RUSTON, La. - It's been 14 days since No. 8 LSU has taken the basketball court in a non-practice situation.

The Lady Tigers have had a two-week hiatus since their 52-36 victory at Tulane on Dec. 2. In that span, LSU has shifted its attention toward final exams and away from offensive and defensive sets.

LSU (6-2) returns to action today on the road against Louisiana Tech (4-5) at 2 p.m.

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November 25, 2007

All-American Defense

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - If you watched these two teams play last year in Cleveland at the Final Four, you pretty much got the gist of what happened when No. 7 Rutgers and No. 6 LSU met at the RAC Sunday.

Defense, defense and lots of defense.

And shoddy shooting.

And turnovers.

And that was just LSU's All-American 6-foot-7 center Sylvia Fowles.

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Coming Up On The Home Stretch

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - With 7:13 to play and the score tied at 40, this is the final stretch of the game.

This is big time. This is where one team will win it and one team will lose it. Who's it going to be?

Kia Vaughn had spent a big portion of the second half on the bench with foul trouble, but came back into the game at the 8:44 mark and the score 38-36 RU.

LSU's Fowles then hit a lay up, followed by an Epiphanny Prince jumper on the other side and a Fowles jumper again to tie the score up at 40, where it stands currently.

Fowles now has 13 points for LSU, while Vaughn has 13 of her own for Rutgers.

Lights Out

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Rutgers has actually extended its lead to 38-33 with 11:54 to go in the game, but it is LSU's Quianna don't-call-me-lights-out-'cause-I'm-not-that Chaney who has taken over.

The senior has 16 points to lead LSU and with the score 38-30, she hit a big three pointer with ice in her veins to bring the Tigers back into the game and pump up her team.

Heather Zurich hit a big three prior to that for Rutgers, her first points of the game, and that was quickly followed by a Rashidat Junaid lay in to make the score 38-30 before the Chaney three.

After an Allison Hightower three, however, the Tigers have got the score back within two at 38-36.

Fowles Goes Out

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Sylvia Fowles has just left the game with 15:05 to play.

The senior center looks to have been poked in the eye and spent several seconds on the ground writing in pain.

She walked off the court by herself and is currently being looked at on the bench.

Only one minute after Fowles went to the bench, she's back in the game. It was just a poke in the eye.

Pass The Shoe And Dunk The Ball

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - A very excited few minutes just ensued which involved a missed dunk, a crowd eruption and a player playing with only one shoe.

Let me explain.

First, LSU point guard Erica White spent at least 20 seconds playing defense while holding on to her shoe which had fallen off. LSU then got the ball back, White still didn't put her shoe back on, and the Tigers passed her the ball. She called timeout with the ball in one hand, the shoe in the other.

A few moments later, an LSU fast break ended when Sylvia Fowles - who became the sixth woman to dunk in a college game in the Tigers' last outing - went up for the one-handed slam with authority. The ball clanked off the back iron for a miss, sending the crowd into glorious jubilation at the senior's misfortune.

With 15:42 to go in the game, Rutgers still leads 33-28.

Grinding It Out At Half

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - At the half, this has been a game of miniature spurts and defense, as predicted.

No. 7 Rutgers is putting on a very good show at home after one frame, shooting 45.5 percent from the field to take a 26-24 lead into the half.

LSU was down as much as 19-13 but clawed its way back into the game on the back of Sylvia Fowles and Quianna Chaney. Chaney and Fowles led the Tigers in the first half with nine points apiece.

For Rutgers, they used excellent defense to smother the Tigers down low and didn't allow Fowles to go off, despite her nine points. She had a very tough go inside with Kia Vaughn on her back.

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The D's Gone Crazy

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Told you this was going to be a defensive effort by both teams.

Rutgers is doing what they do best to the music of 16-11 with 10 minutes to go in the first half.

The Scarlet Knights won't let Sylvia Fowles get the ball down low and are denying the passing lanes at the top of the key, getting their hands on every ball that LSU tries to pass.

On the other end, Fowles is a force down low, grabbing rebounds over the smaller Knights and blocking shots and getting her hands on passes that go across the middle of the lane.

Also for the Tigers, senior guard RaShonta LaBlanc already has stolen two balls at the top of the key for fast-break layups to help bring the Tigers back into the game.

But as I type this, Rutgers' E. Carson hit her second three of the game and the Knights lead 19-13.

Early Knights

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - After five minutes of game play, Rutgers is looking like the team to beat this afternoon. The Scarlet Knights came out with some fire on the defensive and offensive end fueled by Epiphanny Prince scoring three early points including an and one.

Essence Carson also hit a big three from the top of the key and the Scarlet Knights lead early, 10-7.

LSU looks a little shaky turning the ball over, but Sylvia Fowles is still a force inside and she has scored three out of the Tigers' seven.

LSU has missed some open shots early and Rutgers has been solid. But the atmosphere here is electric and you can just tell this will be a game of runs.

Sportin' Red

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Talk about a red river, the Rutgers faithful have come out in droves for this Top 10 matchup between the No. 7 Scarlet Knights and the No. 6 LSU Tigers.

I couldn't find a spot in the parking lot it was so crowded, and that isn't usual at the RAC.

And I don't see many purple and gold supporters the building, either. These are all Knights afficionados.

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Final Four Rematch

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Two Final Four teams from a season ago, who both have early-season losses to Top 10 opponents will sqaure off at the Rutgers Athletic Center for Sunday showdown that's a rematch of one of the national semifinals last season.

Last year in Cleveland, it was the Scarlet Knights who absolutely dominated the LSU Tigers, who were making their fourth consecutive Final Four appearance, to the tune of 59-35, for the honor of losing to Tennessee in the title game.

Fast forwarding to this season where No. 7 Rutgers was humbled at home to current No. 4 Stanford and No. 6 LSU was taken behind the woodshed by No. 3 Maryland in College Park in the WNIT Finals, and you have two teams who strongly need a win over a top-ranked opponent.

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November 18, 2007

Toliver and No. 3 Terps take down LSU

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -Last year the Maryland Terrapins women's basketball team could not come through in the big game. They lost to rivals North Carolina and Duke twice each, and failed to make any noise in the NCAA Tournament, losing to Ole Miss in the second round.

This season is already different story.

A week after defeating then-No. 6 Oklahoma, the No. 3 Terps (5-0) earned another definitive early-season win, pummeling the No. 4 LSU Lady Tigers 75-63, en route to capturing the Pre-Season WNIT championship at Comcast Center.

"Just a special win for us," Terrapins head coach Brenda Frese said. "We talked about having twice as much fun, and I thought we worked twice as hard in this game. I'm just so proud of the champions we have in this locker room."

Maryland junior point guard Kristi Toliver scored 23 points, dished out seven assists, and garnered tournament MVP honors. She scored 25 points Friday night in a win against Notre Dame which got the Terps to the championship game.

"I thought I was in a WNBA game for a while, the way [Toliver] just kept pulling up and making shots," said LSU head coach Van Chancellor, who won four WNBA titles with the Houston Comets. "I'm really impressed with her."

The Terrapins were without the services of All-American center Crystal Langhorne, but senior Jade Perry picked up the slack and gave fits to LSU's own All- American, Sylvia Fowles. After the game Frese called Perry "the strongest player in the country."

While Fowles scored her typical 24 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, she struggled to take over the game much to do with the way Perry battled her.

"It's just something different about their post players, putting the ball on the floor, finishing around the bucket or even stepping out from the block," Fowles said. "That's something I had to go up against tonight that was kind of different."

LSU stuck with the Terps throughout the first half, entering the locker room facing just a two-point deficit. The Lady Tigers gained the lead early in the second half, but a 16-1 Terrapin run created some separation. The Terps cruised through most of the second half with a double-digit lead, thanks in part to forward Laura Harper's 14 points after the break.

LSU was a bit out of their element all game. The Lady Tigers usually focus on getting the ball inside and scoring from the post, but instead, they jacked up 25 three-point field goals. Guard Quianna Chaney hit four of them, but took 12 attempts, and shot the ball a total of 22 times to score her 23 points.

Chancellor took the blame for the questionable style of play his team exhibited.

"I promise you this much, you put this one in the bank, we're going to get a lot better," Chancellor said. "LSU right now is poorly, poorly coached."

The veteran coach also had his own predictions about Maryland.

"This team is capable of winning a national championship or playing for one if they keep playing like this," he said. "They were pretty good today."

Meanwhile, LSU has a lot of work to do if it wants to reach its fifth straight Final Four.

They were exposed by Maryland and the talented point guard Toliver whose coach called her "Agent Two-zero" after the game, referencing Toliver's number 20 jersey and her similarity of play to Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas.

"So far we've been pretty consistent," Toliver said. "The only team that can beat us is ourselves, and we're just going out there and playing hard every game."

Final From College Park

Maryland Terrapins- 75

LSU Lady Tigers- 62

Terps improve to 5-0, while Tigers are now 3-1.

More on this game later.

Preseason WNIT All Tournament Team:

Charel Allen (ND)
Allyssa DeHaan (MSU)
Sylvia Fowles (LSU)
Quianna Chaney (LSU)
Jade Perry (MD)
MVP: Kristi Toliver (MD)

That Kind of Day

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Kristi Toliver just took a deep jump shot that bounced up off the rim, rolled around, and in. She leads the Terps with 21 now. Maryland is ahead of LSU 73-59 with under 3 minutes remaining.

Tigers in Trouble???

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -Sylvia Fowles just hit a jump shot to stop what was a 16-1 Maryland run. LSU took the lead right after intermission, but the Terps spent no time in getting it back. Right now, they are clicking on all cylinders.

Terps up 13 points.

Too much Excitement

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -Marissa Coleman hit a lay-up while getting fouled, and let her excitement get the best of her. Coleman started yelling, then bumped into a group of LSU players, earning her a technical foul.

Tigers guard Erica White made the second of two free-throws resulting from Coleman's technical.

Coleman hit her free-throw from the initial play.

The Terps lead the Tigers 46-41.

Half-Time Update

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -Maryland head coach Brenda Frese has to be happy about the way her team is playing without Crystal Langhorne.

Going into the half, the Terps lead LSU 34-32

Starting for the injured Langhorne (who did not dress today), was Jade Perry, who chipped in 10 first-half points and grabbed five rebounds.

The Terps have not, however, done a good job of taking care of the basketball. Give credit to LSU's guards for pressuring the Terps into nine turnovers so far.

And on offense for the Lady Tigers, it's all Quianna Chaney (game-high 16 points), who has been anything but gun-shy. Chaney is 6-for-13 from the field including a 4-for-8 mark from beyond the arc. Chaney is getting open looks and not hesitating to take them. She is also the only player on either side to play all 20 minutes.

It will be interesting to see how Frese and LSU coach Van Chancellor adjust at the half.

Toliver Taking Over

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Quick update on the top scorers...

Maryland point guard Kristi Toliver leads the game with 11 points. She also has four rebounds and three assists.

For LSU, Quianna Chaney has 10 points while Sylvia Fowles has 7.

Who's watching?

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - A decent crowd showed up at Comcast Center for LSU/Maryland considering the elements. Tickets were put on sale very late due to the nature of the tournament.

Also, it's a Sunday in November and both local NFL teams, the Ravens and the Redskins play this afternoon.
The student section here is almost empty and the rest of the arena is about half-full.

No Langhorne

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -The Terps' starting lineup was just announced and no Langhorne to be seen. Senior forward Jade Perry will start in her place this afternoon. Perry has averaged 8.5 points per game thus far and leads Maryland with 9.5 rebounds each contest.

Pre-season WNIT Final Coming up...

COLLEGE PARK, Md- Before the season, when this LSU/Maryland match-up was a possibility, everyone probably looked to the All-American center battle between Crystal Langhorne and Sylvia Fowles.

That one-on-one clash is hardly the story of this game though.

First off, Langhorne is nursing a foot injury and has only played one game so far—scoring just two points against Oklahoma. She is questionable for the game today.

Secondly, even if Langhorne does play, it is unlikely she will be covering Fowles on the defensive end. Expect the 6-foot-4-inch Laura Harper to draw that unenviable task.

The real match-up to watch is between swing players Quianna Chaney of LSU and Marissa Coleman of Maryland--each of whom do a little bit of everything for their respective teams.

The Lady Tigers have not given up more than 54 points yet this season. That will likely change today. Expect a high-scoring affair, because the Terrapins like to run, and LSU should have no problem keeping up.

It may be the finals of the preseason WNIT, but neither of these teams will be showing up in the postseason WNIT. Each has its own realistic goal of reaching the Final Four. LSU has done it four straight years, while Maryland is trying to build a legacy of its own.