RICHMOND, Virginia (Ticker) -- It was indeed a dark weekend for Duke.
Marie Ferdinand scored 15 of her 22 points in the second half to lead third-seeded Louisiana State to a 79-66 victory over No. 2 Duke in an East Region semifinal.
The loss came less than 24 hours after Duke was upset in the men's NCAA Tournament by Florida. Today, another Southeastern school knocked off the Duke women.
LSU (25-6) hit 57 percent (17-of-30) from the field in the second half when it outscored Duke, 49-35. The Blue Devils shot just 37 percent (25-of-67) for the game.
"In the second half, we went to a hard man-to-man defense," LSU coach Sue Gunter said. "It was easier to play out our man defense in the second half." DeTrina White scored 19 points on 9-of-10 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Lady Tigers, who advanced to the regional finals for the first time since 1986.
LSU will play top-seeded Connecticut in the regional final on Monday.
Duke (28-6) was hoping to reach the Final Four for the second straight year.
"I thought that LSU played a fantastic game. They deserved to win," LSU coach Gail Goestenkors said. "They came to play and they hit tough shots all day long. It loosened things up when they started hitting outside shots." Lauren Rice led the Blue Devils with 17 points. Georgia Schweitzer, the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year, added 14 points but was just 5-of-17 from the field.
"I thought that eventually our shots would start falling," Schweitzer said. "We have a lot of shooters on our team and you think if you just keep shooting, eventually the shots will fall." Schweitzer converted a 3-pointer, a layup and a free throw as Duke scored 12 of the first 18 points of the second half and took a 43-36 lead with 14:43 remaining.
But LSU responded with an 18-4 run. A reverse layup by Angelia Crockett, her only basket of the game, gave LSU its first lead of the second half, 48-47 with 11:36 left.
Over the next three minutes, Duke missed five shots and committed two turnovers and freshman Jaime Hawkins hit a pair of free throws and a foul line jumper and Ferdinand converted a layup to increase LSU's lead to 54-47 with 8:32 left.
After a reverse layup by Rochelle Parent pulled Duke within 55-51, White scored inside and April Brown completed a three-point play with 5:07 left for LSU.
Duke pulled no closer than seven the rest of the way.
Brown finished with 16 points and nine rebounds and Katrina Hibbert added 14 for the Lady Tigers.
Duke led at halftime, 31-30, despite shooting 35 percent (12-of-34) from the field. The Blue Devils compensated with 12 offensive rebounds and LSU committed eight turnovers.