No. 4 LSU Edges No. 16 S. Carolina 69-66
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) _ Seimone Augustus scored 26 points, including two free throws with 7.1 seconds left to give No. 4 Louisiana State a 69-66 win over No. 16 South Carolina on Thursday night.
The Gamecocks (16-5, 4-4 Southeastern Conference) had a chance to tie it, but Cristina Ciocan’s well-contested 3-pointer didn’t even make it to the rim at the buzzer.
The Lady Tigers (19-1, 7-1) looked to have the game in hand after scoring on nine straight possessions to break away from a tie at 51 to take a 67-59 lead with 1:39 left.
But LSU mistakes gave the Gamecocks a chance in the end.
Roneeka Hodges threw away a pass, then fouled Kelly Morrone as she shot a 3-pointer. Morrone hit all three foul shots to pull South Carolina to 67-64.
LSU’s Temeka Johnson and Wendlyn Jones both missed front ends of 1-in-1s, and Ciocan hit a driving layup and the Gamecocks trailed 67-66.
After a timeout, the Lady Tigers got the ball into Augustus. The freshman, who came into the game shooting 85 percent from the line, swished both shots to end the game just one off her career high set in her debut against Arizona.
The win gives LSU one more victory than all of last season and equals the Lady Tigers’ best-ever SEC start at 7-1.
Petra Ujhelyi scored a career-high 24 and had nine rebounds for South Carolina, while the SEC’s second-leading scorer, Jocelyn Penn, was held to 15 points, better than five below her average. Ciocan scored 14 points and had 10 assists for the Gamecocks, who never led.
Aiysha Smith had 16 points, and Ke-Ke Tardy added 10 for LSU.
The Lady Tigers led by 10 at half, but Ujhelyi, who had three fouls, hit three straight shots, including only the third 3-pointer of the senior’s career.
LSU, who came into the game with the SEC’s best defense at 52.9 points a game, held South Carolina without a basket for more than eight minutes in the first half. South Carolina missed 10 shots in a row during the run, and The Lady Tigers forced four turnovers to score 13 points for a 17-4 lead.