LSU vs. UConn: Round II

By Lara Boyko - March 26, 2007

Six weeks ago on February 11, UConn traveled down to Baton Rouge to play LSU in a non-conference game in the middle of the season. UConn edged LSU that night by a single point 72-71 in a game that came down to the wire and a line.

“I know that (UConn guard) Mel (Thomas) was shouting that her foot was on the line, so I just trusted that, and I knew that nothing was going to change when they looked at the monitor,” said UConn guard Renee Montgomery of LSU’s Porsha Phillips’ shot at the buzzer that was ruled to be worth two instead of three points.

Instead of LSU, who is seeking their fourth Final Four appearance, taking a step back from that night, the Lady Tigers have taken step after step forward to make it to tonight’s match-up.

“It didn’t take long to get over that loss,” said LSU’s Sylvia Fowles. “We went into the locker room, discussed the things we did poorly and went on from there. It was a good game and a very competitive game which is what we knew was going to happen so we went out there and played the best that we could. We had some breakdowns, but after that, it was over.”

UConn, who has won 15 consecutive NCAA Tournament wins as a No. 1 seed, won the battle that night, but with so much on the line tonight, you know that everyone will be putting their best foot forward to win the war tonight.

“I know that (UConn forward) Tina Charles is going to bring her ‘A’ game so I will bring mine and it is going to be a show to watch,” said Fowles. “She brings out the best in me when I play her and I’m pretty sure I bring out the best in her.”

Along with Fowles, LSU is going to need big performances from Erica White, RaShonta LeBlanc, Quianna Chaney and Ashley Thomas.

“We have to make good defensive stops at key times,” said LSU acting coach Bob Starkey. “We have to play really well in a lot of areas. They find ways to beat you.”

Along with Charles, other UConn players who will need to bring their ‘A’ game out tonight in Fresno includes Montgomery, Charde Houston, Kalana Greene and Thomas.

“What we did the last time isn’t going to be good enough,” said UConn coach Geno Auriemma. “My message to the players is that we’ve got to improve if we want to beat them.”

In less than 30 minutes each team will emerge from their respective corners of the Save Mart Center in their warm up silks and shoes laced up ready to rumble in the Fresno Regional Championship game.

Ding, ding!

Stay tuned…

Posted by Lara Boyko at 08:42 PM on March 26, 2007

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