Texas Longhorns Advance To Final Four With 78-60 Victory Over LSU
April 1, 2003
Stanford, Calif. - After a 16-year absence, Texas is headed back to theFinal Four with a low-post duo that just might be good enough to win it all.
Heather Schreiber had a career-high 32 points and eight rebounds, and StacyStephens had 14 points and 12 rebounds as the second-seeded Longhorns beattop-seeded LSU 78-60 Tuesday night in the West Regional final.
Tai Dillard added 12 points for Texas (29-5), which won its 17th straightgame and earned a meeting with Connecticut (35-1) at the Georgia Dome inAtlanta on Sunday. Football-crazy Austin will have basketball fever this week,with the men's team heading to New Orleans for that other Final Four.
Led by Schreiber's remarkable offensive versatility and Stephens' insidepower, the Longhorns got a blowout victory in what many expected to be the NCAAtournament's most competitive regional final.
Texas led by 28 midway through the second half and coasted to the victory infront of a small but ecstatic cheering section that chanted 'Final Four!' asthe clock wound down.
Schreiber, Texas' all-Big 12 sophomore forward, went 13-for-21 from thefield and embarrassed every defender put in front of her at Maples Pavilion.She was relentless, scoring on post-up moves and 18-foot jumpers with equalease.
Coach Jody Conradt, who has won more games than any women's coach exceptTennessee's Pat Summitt, reached her third Final Four at Texas - but her firstsince 1987, when the Longhorns made back-to-back trips following an undefeatedseason and a national championship in 1986.
DeTrina White scored 14 points for LSU (30-4), the only No. 1 seed thatwon't be in Atlanta.
It was a heartbreaking loss for Tigers coach Sue Gunter, who's never madethe Final Four. She has 681 career victories but has lost all three regionalfinals she's reached at LSU.
Texas won the Big 12 championship on the strength of its dynamic insidecombo, which teamed up to average 28.2 points and 17.3 rebounds a game thisseason. While Stephens dominates the paint, Schreiber scores from inside, onthe perimeter and in transition.
After a slow start, Schreiber and Stephens overpowered the Tigers - withplenty of help from their teammates, of course. Trailing 11-4 after the firstfive minutes, the Longhorns scored 18 straight points and held LSU scorelessfor nearly six minutes while building a comfortable lead they never lost.
The Longhorns also had a 42-33 rebounding edge, and Stanford transfer JamieCarey had 12 points and six assists while shutting down star LSU point guardTemeka Johnson.
Texas followed its 18-0 run with a 19-7 run to end the first half. A 19-9run midway through the second half sealed it.
Seimone Augustus, the Tigers' freshman star, had just eight points.
Johnson, still playing with a black eye and two broken bones in her face,missed all four of her shots in the first half in the face of Carey's houndingdefense. LSU's offense struggled without her help, and she finished with ninepoints, seven rebounds and seven assists.
Carey got another standing ovation from the crowd. She was a freshmanstar at Stanford three years ago before a series of concussions forced her toswitch schools.
By GREG BEACHAM
AP Sports Writer
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