Vanderbilt vs LSU
59 - 70
January 26, 2003
Baton Rouge, LA


By MARY FOSTER, AP Sports Writer
January 26, 2003

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- LSU loves playing at home, especially when Seimone Augustus is on her game.

The No. 6 Tigers won their 14th straight on their home court, thanks to Augustus' 21 points, as they shook off No. 18 Vanderbilt 70-59 Sunday.

``I had to be aggressive. We needed to beat them and we knew it wouldn't be easy,'' Augustus said.

LSU (17-1, 5-1) struggled until late in the game when the Tigers turned up the defensive pressure and outscored Vanderbilt (12-6, 2-3) 19-7 over the final 12 minutes.

``They turned up the pressure,'' Vanderbilt coach Melanie Balcomb said. ``They started trapping, and we missed some easy shots, including several wide open 3s that we didn't knock down.''

LSU opened the second half by shooting 4-of-9 then went on an 8-2 run. Doneeka Hodges tied it at 46, on the first 3-pointer of the game, with 12:17 left.

The Tigers took the lead for good on a pair of free throws by Temeka Johnson that gave them a 53-52 lead with 7:57 left.

The Tigers turned up the defensive pressure and their rebounding late in the game. The Commodores held a 21-14 rebounding edge five minutes into the second half, but the Tigers outrebounded Vanderbilt 17-9 the rest of the way.

``I was never worried,'' Johnson said. ``Once we got into our press there was nothing to worry about.''

Vanderbilt also turned the ball over 25 times, to LSU's 16.

``The difference in the game was the press,'' LSU coach Sue Gunter said.

Both teams struggled with their shooting as LSU went 1-for-10 from 3-point range. Vanderbilt was 0-for-8 from behind the arc.

Vanderbilt stretched its lead to 41-36 over the first 4 1/2 minutes of the second half.

The Commodores played without Ashley McElhiney, who leads the conference and is second nationally in assists. McElhiney sprained her left ankle two minutes into last Sunday's win over Kentucky.

``When you have no backup guard but a walk-on, it's very noticeable and people are going to press us,'' Balcomb said.

Jenni Benningfield led Vanderbilt with 19 points. Chantelle Anderson, the SEC leader in field-goal percentage at 67 percent, scored 18 points. Tia Battle had 13.

The Tigers struggled against the Commodores early on, finding inside shots tough to come by against Vanderbilt's height advantage, losing rebounds, turning the ball over and getting few second-chance shots.

Vanderbilt tied it again at 14 on a layup by Anderson with 10:41 left in the half.

Neither team had led by more than 3 points when Vanderbilt made back-to-back baskets, going up 31-28 on a layup by Benningfield with 1:37 seconds remaining. She made a jumper with 12 seconds left that gave the Commodores a 33-28 halftime lead.


Vanderbilt Athletic Department
2601 Jess Neely Drive
Nashville, TN 37212
615-322-GOLD (4653)