LSU coach Van Chancellor can thank Sylvia Fowles for his first trip to a Final Four.
Fowles had 21 points, 12 rebounds and five blocked shots, lifting LSU to a 56-50 victory over top-seeded North Carolina on Monday night. The victory sent the second-seeded Lady Tigers (31-5) to their fifth Final Four in as many seasons. Only Connecticut also has made five straight trips to the Final Four and no team has made six.
“We knew it was our last year and we wanted to go all out,” said Fowles, named the most outstanding player of the New Orleans regional.
For North Carolina (33-3), forced to play before a hostile crowd wearing purple and gold, the loss snapped a 16-game winning streak and left the Tar Heels one victory short of a third straight Final Four appearance.
LaToya Pringle led the Tar Heels with 21 points, all but two coming in the second half, but it was not enough as the rest of her team combined for 10 points after the break.
“The only player that really played like they usually do is LaToya,” North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell said. “It was tough coming down here playing in this environment.
“It was a very ugly game, I mean, who wants to watch a game 56-50,” Hatchell continued. “It was very different than how we normally play. ... LSU probably had a lot to do with that.”
-- The Associated Press