LSU 73, Connecticut 50


Monday, March 26th 2007, 10:05 pm
By: News On 6


FRESNO, Calif. (AP) -- The talk coming into the NCAA tournament was about the coach LSU was missing. It's the center who is still dominating the middle that lifted the Lady Tigers to their fourth straight Final Four.

Sylvia Fowles overpowered Connecticut with 23 points, 15 rebounds and an intimidating defensive performance that led 3rd-seeded LSU to a 73-50 victory over the top-seeded Huskies on Monday night in the Fresno Regional final.

A team in turmoil heading into the tournament after head coach Pokey Chatman abruptly resigned March 7 amid allegations of improper conduct with a former player, LSU (30-7) shook off any distractions and won four straight games under acting coach Bob Starkey.

The longtime assistant for both the men's and women's programs at LSU has an undefeated record as a head coach and looks to end his career that way with two more wins next week in Cleveland. Starkey said he has no aspirations to become the full-time coach.

LSU will play Rutgers in Sunday's national semifinal. The Scarlet Knights (26-8) beat Arizona State 64-45 earlier Monday night.

Connecticut (32-4) will be left watching the Final Four for the third straight year after making it that far the previous five seasons. This matches UConn's longest Final Four drought since making its first in 1991.

It was the Huskies' most lopsided tournament loss since losing 75-47 to Vanderbilt in the second round in 1992.