• LSUBEAT.com • Schedules • Depth Chart • Recruits • LSU in NFL • LSU Gear

Monday, March 10, 2008

Choking under pressure

There is no more margin for error for the LSU women's basketball team now. NCAA Tournament play starts in about a week.

I hope the Lady Tigers enjoyed their run as SEC regular season champions. I hope Sylvia Fowles enjoyed her run as the SEC player of the year. Because neither looked true on Sunday as Tennessee outperformed LSU in the clutch for a 61-55 victory for the SEC Tournament title that may prove to cost LSU a No. 1 seed.

Tennessee's Candace Parker looked much more like the player of the year than did Fowles, who missed 3-of-4 free throws including critical ones down the stretch.

Fowles was at the line with a one-and-one free throw opportunity with LSU leading 54-51 and 3:12 to go. If she makes both, the Lady Tigers lead somewhat comfortably at 56-51. She missed the first one and did not get to shoot the second one. UT immediately tied it at 54-54 on a 3-pointer.

Later, with the shot clock winding down, Fowles relaxed her defense on Parker, who took a jump shot out of her usual range. But she's a clutch player, and she drained it for a 56-54 lead with 1:58 to play. Tennesse led the rest of the way.

Fowles would miss one of two free throws with 1:37 to play, keeping UT ahead 56-55. Parker missed 4 of 8 free throws herself, but with 45 seconds to go, Parker made both free throws for a 58-55 lead. That's clutch.

Down the final critical stretch, Fowles also fumbled the ball when she was about to score. Point guard Erica White drove swiftly and nicely with a steal, but she missed the layup. Quianna Chaney also hurried a 3-pointer so much and from so far out, she shot it as if it was a last-second shot. There was plenty of time on the shot clock.

She performed the same panic attack in the final moments in the loss at home to UConn.

These are seasoned seniors playing like freshmen. Van Chancellor has proven to be an excellent coach this season, But if he doesn't rid his team of these chokes at crunch time, he might not make it to the Final Four, which he was basically hired to win.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

LSU may have "choked" down the stretch but how asinine is it that a team that went undefeated through the regular season doesn't get an automatic bid the the NCAA Tournament. The bid should go to the regular season champion who established themselves as the top team over an entire conference slate. NCAA basketball needs to fix this ridiculousness and stop worrying about messing with the distance of the 3-pt. line. How many teams this week will get hosed because it didn't win a stupid conference tournament? Go ask VCU.

2:14 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home