Dec. 17, 2006
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -Quianna Chaney nearly doubled her season scoring average and Sylvia Fowles had a double-double for LSU on Sunday, all in the first half.
That was all the help the No. 7 Lady Tigers needed to dominate No. 18 Michigan State 65-50.
Chaney, who came in averaging 9.6 points, scored 15 of her 24 points in the first half to help LSU (11-1) build a 20-point lead.
"We try to come out and play Lady Tiger basketball every game," Chaney said after going 4-for-7 from 3-point range. "Wow! (That start) boosted my confidence a lot and let me know my shot was on and to keep shooting."
The 6-foot-6 Fowles had 10 points and 10 rebounds in the first 20 minutes and finished with 21 and 14, respectively, for a team with five junior starters.
"My main focus was to attack," Fowles said. "My coaches and my teammates just said I needed to play my game. And I got more physical as the game went on, making contact and using my quickness."
Victoria Lucas-Perry led the Spartans (7-2) with 18 points. She finished 7-for-19 from the field after a 1-for-9 start.
"We'll take it as a lesson learned and also as a motivator," Michigan State coach Joanne P. McCallie said. "Our `A' game wasn't completely present, only in spots, and you have to play 40 minutes against an opponent like LSU."
The one Spartan who didn't seem intimidated early was 6-9 freshman Allyssa DeHaan, who was 4-for-6 from the field and finished with 10 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots.
"I didn't need to play this game to have impressions of her," LSU coach Pokey Chatman said. "Good hands, good feet, good touch. And I like her ability to pass the basketball, especially for someone her size. Someone mentioned that she's going to be good. I think she's good already."
LSU was good from the opening tip. It grabbed a 6-0 lead when Chaney swished two 3s from the left corner in the first 27 seconds, before and after a quick Spartan turnover, their first of 20.
The Lady Tigers' lead grew steadily until a late 9-0 run brought Michigan State within 34-23 at the break.
"We learned a lot about ourselves, that we have good character," McCallie said. "But there's an aggressiveness gap and a little bit of a maturity gap. I thought they probably slowed down the way they should have more than we did."
LSU's margin expanded to 46-29 early in the second half. But a surge led by Lucas-Perry brought the Spartans within seven at 54-47 before Chaney scored again from the corner and stopped the rally.
"What's nice to see is that our kids answered the call when there was a run," Chatman said. "We knew it was going to take 40 minutes of basketball. That's exactly what it took. Fresh in my mind was the evaporation of a lead going into the half. And it was nice to see that we took our time and methodically got the ball where it needed to get."
Both teams had 43 rebounds. But LSU had edges of 40 percent-32 percent in field-goal accuracy, 17-9 in chances from the line and 9-4 in steals to nearly repeat last year's 72-52 win in Baton Rouge.