No. 25/22 Women's Basketball Falls to No. 9 LSU
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM Alli Smalley drives the ball against LSU's Erica White in the second half. (AP Photo/Todd J. Van Emst)
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM
Alli Smalley drives the ball against LSU's Erica White in the second half. (AP Photo/Todd J. Van Emst)
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

Jan. 24, 2008

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AUBURN, Ala. - Sylvia Fowles and No. 9 LSU are spoiling their coach these days with fast starts and dominating defense.

The Lady Tigers continued their run of convincing Southeastern Conference wins with a 79-59 victory over No. 25 Auburn on Thursday night despite getting outscored in the second half.

Fowles had 22 points and 10 rebounds and Quianna Chaney made six 3-pointers and had 21 points for the Lady Tigers (15-3, 4-0). They shot 55 percent and led by 21 points at halftime.

"Usually you do that when you're at home," LSU coach Van Chancellor said. "You've got the crowd there and everyone's behind you. We've had some starts that have been unbelievable. I keep thinking I'm going to wake up one day.

"Our intensity lately has been unbelievable."

The results have been impressive, too. This one was at least more competitive than LSU's previous outing, a 53-point win over Mississippi State on Sunday that was the program's most lopsided SEC victory. The Lady Tigers have had an average halftime lead of 19.5 points during their current six-game winning streak.

This one was all but decided by the half, when LSU led 42-21.

The Lady Tigers pushed the lead to 28 points in the opening minutes of the second half before Auburn (13-6, 1-3) managed to close the gap somewhat with six second-half 3-pointers.

"We just tried to start out with a lot of momentum and make sure we got things going," Fowles said. "We just tried not to get behind because we know what they're capable of once you get behind and it's tough to get back."

LSU, which made 8-of-13 3-pointers, has won its first four league games by an average of 21 points.

Chaney had a career-high eight assists with no turnovers to complement her 6-for-8 shooting from beyond the arc. Fowles made 9-of-14 shots and had four blocks while helping keep Auburn from mounting any kind of consistent offense inside.

"I thought LSU's defense was outstanding," Auburn coach Nell Fortner said. "They are extremely quick. They have Fowles back there, who's an unbelievable player.

"We just did not get enough production offensively from players we usually get production from."

Erica White added 15 points and five assists for LSU.

Sherell Hobbs led Auburn with 20 points while Jordan Greenleaf added 12.

DeWanna Bonner, the league's No. 2 scorer, managed just five points along with 10 rebounds. Bonner came in averaging 17 points but was held to 2-of-9 shooting by the nation's No. 2 scoring defense.

"We stayed right on top of her," Chancellor said. "We figured if she got started, that would emotionally start them up.

"She's just too good a player. I thought our defense on her was superb."

Bonner said she deserved some of the blame, too.

"I think I was just playing a little bit tentative," she said. "I didn't attack the basket aggressively enough. I think I did pretty good on defense, but I've just got to score more points."

The Lady Tigers nursed a double-digit lead most of the first half and scored 10 consecutive points to push their lead to 38-16 late. Auburn failed to score for more than 6 minutes before Trevesha Jackson's free throw with 1:30 left in the half.

Bonner then rebounded Jackson's missed second attempt to set up Greenleaf's jumper. LSU then went back inside to Fowles for a basket and White stole an inbound pass. The 5-foot-3 guard missed a layup, got her own rebound and made her second try inside in the closing seconds of the half.

"I thought Erica was the difference maker in the game," Chancellor said.