Augustus scored 29 on 14-of-19 shooting


SEATTLE (AP) -- Seimone Augustus played so hard, she worked up a
cramp in her neck and missed LSU's postgame interviews.

She left it all on the court, scoring 29 points on 14-of-19
shooting to lead fourth-seeded LSU to a 71-55 victory over
top-seeded Texas on Saturday night in the West regional semifinals.

"Seimone can score at will," said Tameka Johnson, who added 12
points and 13 assists. "She is versatile because of her height and
she can post up, beat people off the dribble. It's hard for people
to guard her."

The Lady Tigers (26-7) advanced to face third-seeded Georgia -- a
66-64 winner over Purdue -- in an all-Southeastern Conference
regional final Monday night.

Augustus wasn't available after the game. Team officials said
she complained of a stiff neck and required treatment with
intravenous fluids in the training room.

"My teammates did a good job of getting me open," Augustus
said in a statement. "Once I got the ball, I just read the
defense, made the correct cut and went to the basket aggressively
when I had a good shot."

LSU looked great in the hands of acting coach Dana "Pokey"
Chatman, who has filled in over the past two months while
Basketball Hall of Fame member Sue Gunter battled acute bronchitis.

Texas (30-5) won last year's meeting 78-60 to reach the Final
Four, and it was sweet for the Lady Tigers to take the rematch in
such lopsided fashion.

"We all wanted to have a big game tonight," said LSU's Doneeka
Hodges. "We all came out and played hard to win. That is what we
focused on."

This wasn't the kind of Texas two-step that Longhorns fans
wanted to see. The loss came one night after Texas lost 79-71 to
Xavier at the same point in the men's tournament.

Augustus was fabulous in the first 20 minutes, hitting 6-of-8
from the floor to help LSU to a 37-24 halftime lead. She made shots
from everywhere -- underneath the basket, jumpers from the top of
the key and a few fast-break layups.

She was just getting warmed up, and LSU kept rolling in the
second half.

The Longhorns cut the deficit to eight at 43-35 after a rebound
and putback by Heather Schreiber and a layup by Tiffany Jackson,
but Augustus made four baskets during a 14-5 run to force a Texas
timeout with 7:56 to play.

"I expected she'd have 20, and I thought we could survive
that," Texas coach Jody Conradt said.

Hodges hit a 3-pointer coming out of that break, Tillie Willis
scored another bucket and -- who else? -- Augustus got free for a
fast-break basket and the Lady Tigers were up 64-45 with 5:39

It wasn't even that close. Texas led 15-8 six minutes after the
tip, but the Lady Tigers went on a 24-9 run from there.

Jamie Carey scored 17 points to lead the Longhorns, while
Heather Schreiber and Jackson each had 14. Stacy Stephens collected
12 rebounds, but Texas' superior inside play was wiped out by LSU's
strong defense.

"You've got to give them credit," Stephens said. "They were
everywhere with their hands out there. They were like a swarm of

Carey had made 9-for-11 from 3-point range in the first two
rounds of the NCAA tournament, but she was 1-for-4 against LSU
before making four straight 3-pointers late in the second half.

Texas shot 51.8 percent in its first two NCAA wins, but fell to
36.4 percent against the Lady Tigers.

"LSU played really, really well. They came out with a fire that
our team lacked," Conradt said. "They got us into a hole early. I
kept thinking we would respond, but nothing seemed to work for

LSU went 14-5 with Chatman working the sidelines since January,
and 5-2 since it became apparent after a Feb. 19 loss to Vanderbilt
that Gunter wouldn't be able to return this season.

Even without her place on the bench, though, the veteran coach
still attended practices and even reached out to Chatman with
multiple daily phone calls -- even more frequently as game days

"I last talked to her before the shootaround," Chatman said.
"We didn't even talk about basketball. We were just talking about
how I was feeling before the game."