Stanford falls a win short of Final Four

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

LSU posted a 62-59 victory over Stanford.

SAN ANTONIO -- Seimone Augustus saw her old pals from the Baton Rouge neighborhood reach the Final Four. Not content to just watch the boys play, she made sure LSU has two teams with a shot at a national championship next weekend.

Augustus, a middle-school AAU teammate of Glen "Big Baby" Davis and longtime friends with other men's stars like Tyrus Thomas, scored 17 of her 26 points in the second half and drew a game-saving charge with 4.8 seconds left to send the Lady Tigers past Stanford 62-59 Monday night in the finals of the San Antonio Regional.

The nation's leading scorer and reigning national player of the year, Augustus carried LSU (31-3) in the second half with the determination of someone not wanting to end her career. Then, with the Lady Tigers up 60-59 and Stanford star Candice Wiggins driving, she planted her body in the way and drew a charge that prevented the Cardinal from getting off a potential go-ahead shot.

Making their third straight Final Four appearance, the Lady Tigers will play Sunday against the winner of tonight's game between Connecticut and Duke.

LSU is the seventh school to pull off the NCAA tournament double. This also is the fifth straight year it's happened. Only Connecticut in 2003 pulled off the title sweep; in fact, none of the other teams won either the men's or women's titles.

Stanford was able to stop Oklahoma's standout center Courtney Paris in the regional semifinals, but slowing two stars -- Augustus and Sylvia Fowles -- was just too tough. Although the Cardinal fell a game shy of their first Final Four since 1997, they're expected to be among the preseason favorites next year.

Wiggins led Stanford with 23 points, including a 3-pointer with 39 seconds left. The Cardinal made only two field goals in the last 6:30, a drought proved to be the difference -- especially with them also missing three free throws in the final minute.

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