Star helps LSU get two in Four

By Times Staff
Published March 28, 2006

SAN ANTONIO - Seimone Augustus gave her old neighborhood, and the rest of Baton Rouge, another reason to celebrate.

Two days after her middle-school AAU teammate Glen "Big Baby" Davis and other longtime pals got the LSU men into the Final Four, Augustus did the same for the women in quite a memorable way.

She scored 17 of her 26 in the second half, then drew the game-saving charge with 4.8 seconds left, sending LSU past Stanford 62-59 Monday night in the San Antonio Region final.

LSU will be the seventh school to have its men's and women's teams in the Final Four, and Augustus' focus is going out on top. The nation's scoring leader and reigning player of the year got this far the past two years also, but the senior has yet to even reach the title game.

"It's just a great opportunity in front of us, to take advantage of it and end on a high note," she said. "That's the key, end with a win at the end of the season."

Augustus carried LSU (31-3) in the second half with the determination of someone not wanting her career to end. She hit several clutch baskets, many after landing hard on her back while grabbing a rebound. Then, with the Tigers up 60-59 and Stanford star Candice Wiggins driving, she set her feet in the way and drew a charge.

Her reaction was priceless: Lying prone, she kicked her feet and shook her fists for several seconds while the Cardinal (26-8) begged for a blocking call.

"I mean, Seimone was planted," LSU coach Pokey Chatman said. "It was one of those things where it was do or die. ... I thought it was ironic that one of the best offensive players in the game made a defensive stop."

Stanford was especially upset because Wiggins passed to Krista Rappahahn, who made a 3-pointer that didn't count.

"It is disappointing to get this close and to see the ball go in the basket and then have it taken away from you," Cardinal coach Tara VanDerveer said.