Terps women claw, but fall to LSU, 76-61

Leading host at halftime, UM loses in second round

Freshman Doron hits 23 points

Augustus' 2nd half foils best postseason since '92

College basketball

March 24, 2004|By Charles Salzer | Charles Salzer,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

BATON ROUGE, La. - Just as coach Brenda Frese wanted, Maryland showed resilience in its second-round NCAA women's basketball tournament regional game at Louisiana State last night.

By game's end, resilience and a measure of respect were all that was left for the Terrapins.

LSU's Temeka Johnson and Seimone Augustus proved too much for 12th-seeded Maryland to handle as No. 4 LSU rode an explosive second half to a 76-61 win at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

Maryland (18-13) led 28-27 at halftime, but Augustus and Johnson came alive in the second half to ignite the Lady Tigers' attack. LSU (25-7) advances to the West Regional semifinals in Seattle.

Augustus scored eight of LSU's first 10 points in the second half and totaled a game-high 26 for the night. Johnson had six points and nine assists after the break, finishing with 12 in each category for the game.

"I'm very proud of our team for hanging in there the entire 40 minutes," Frese said. "Credit LSU, which is an extremely talented team. They not only have Seimone, who I was hoping would miss a shot at some point, but they also have a talented team to go around her."

Freshman guard Shay Doron led Maryland with 23 points, including 11 of 12 free throws, but senior forward Delvona Oliver (15) was the only other Terrapin in double figures after four had reached that mark in an opening-round 86-85 win over fifth-seeded Miami.

The loss ended Maryland's best postseason since 1992.

Both teams shot below 40 percent from the field in the first half, but LSU improved to 56 percent (18-for-32) in the second half. The hot shooting helped the Tigers move out to a 46-39 lead with 11:39 to play.

Doron's three-pointer from the right wing closed the gap to 48-44, but Augustus hit a pair of jumpers as LSU moved out to a 54-44 lead with 8:05 left.

Maryland twice got within five points, the last at 60-55 on Doron's free throws. It was as close as the Terrapins would get as a 16-6 run down the stretch sealed the victory for LSU.

Johnson had three assists, helping LSU take a 70-57 lead with under three minutes to play, removing any doubt about the game's outcome.

"We just had an extremely difficult time containing all the weapons they threw at us," said Frese, in her second season at Maryland. "Like I told our team in the locker room, I'm extremely proud of them, especially our seniors. They've shown what kind of team we're going to be at Maryland."

LSU moved out to an early 12-4 lead, but Maryland fought its way back into the game with defense and a determination to work the ball inside.

After Johnson scored on a drive for a 12-4 lead at the 15:28 mark, Maryland held the Tigers scoreless over the next 3:37. The Terrapins defense forced LSU to run down the shot clock twice during that stretch, resulting in a pair of hasty misses.

Senior guard Vicki Brick's drive cut Maryland's deficit to 16-13 near the midway point of the half, and Doron's three-pointer from the right corner tied it with 8:11 left.

Oliver gave Maryland its first lead with a short hook in the lane, and Doron added two free throws for a 20-16 lead.

Doron's basket with 53 seconds remaining gave the Terps a 28-24 lead. Instead of taking the last shot on a possession with 25 seconds left, Maryland missed a shot. LSU's Doneeka Hodges made the Terps pay, tossing in a three-pointer with one second remaining to cut the Maryland lead to 28-27 at halftime.

Hodges scored 15 points for LSU, Wendlyn Jones had 10 points and Tillie Willis had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Terrapins post players Oliver, Kalika France and Chrissy Fisher kept LSU from establishing an inside presence. Maryland had limited initial success but began to take advantage of its superior height late in the half.

The Tigers, who scored 44 points in the paint against Austin Peay in their first-round game, had just six in the first half against the Terrapins and finished with 28.

The Terps out-rebounded LSU, 37-31.

With the loss, Maryland drops to 13-13 all-time in the NCAA tournament. It also lost for just the third time this season when leading at halftime.

LSU advanced to the round of 16 for the eighth time, the fourth since 1999.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

MARYLAND - Washington 2-4 0-0 4, Fisher 2-8 0-0 4, Oliver 7-18 0-0 15, France 2-7 3-4 8, Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Brick 2-6 0-0 4, Doron 5-11 11-12 23, Carr 0-0 0-0 0, Noirez 1-3 1-2 3. Totals 21-57 15-18 61.

LSU - Jones 2-6 6-6 10, Biernacka 0-1 0-0 0, Johnson 6-14 0-0 12, Augustus 12-20 2-2 26, Hodges 5-14 4-4 15, Hoston 1-3 0-0 3, Willis 3-5 4-6 10. Totals 29-63 16-18 76. Half: Maryland, 28-27. 3-point goals-Maryland 4-15 (Doron 2-4, France 1-2, Oliver 1-5, Fisher 0-4), LSU 2-7 (Hoston 1-1, Hodges 1-6). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-Maryland 37 (Oliver 9), LSU 31 (Willis 11). Assists-Maryland 11 (Doron 3), LSU 21 (Johnson 12). Total fouls-Maryland 15, LSU 13. A-6,192.

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