LSU needs Hoston's hot shooting

Editor's note: Before the games tip off, ESPN's Beth Mowins takes a look at one player to watch from each of the No. 1 seeds. Here, she focuses on LSU's Scholanda Hoston.

Student-athlete. Mom. Long-range threat.

Yes, LSU's Scholanda Hoston has her hands full, leading the Lady Tigers in 3-point shooting and ranking as the fourth-leading scorer for a team that was ranked No. 1 for most of the season.

The 5-foot-10 junior from Miami, who has a 2-year-old daughter named Aishida, took a year off from basketball in 2003 to have the baby. Now she and her husband, Frederick, share the responsibilities of taking care of Aishida while attending school.

The year away from the game, and the experience of motherhood, taught Hoston valuable lessons. She is much more patient and handles adversity with more maturity.

On the court this season, Hoston is the Lady Tigers' top 3-point threat, sinking 38 treys on 35 percent accuracy. Hoston's outside shooting is critical in the tournament because it will stretch opposing defenses. When Hoston's knocking down 3s, opponents have a harder time helping to defend Seimone Augustus, stopping the penetration of Temeka Johnson and doubling down on Sylvia Fowles. In LSU's two losses to Tennessee and Rutgers, Hoston was a combined 1-for-8 from 3-point range.

At the other end of the floor, coach Pokey Chatman calls Hoston "The Matrix" for her myriad of defensive skills. Hoston led LSU with 69 steals this season, and blocked 29 shots. She says defending is the niché she fills for the Lady Tigers -- and a role she gladly accepts. Hoston forces turnovers which often trigger LSU's fast break.

Hoston says she'll do whatever it takes, not needing personal accolades, just wanting to win. Already she has been a part of historic events in Baton Rouge, La., playing an integral part in LSU's first trip to the Final Four and first regular-season SEC title. Winning a national championship, however, would make for a wonderful bedtime story to tell her daughter.

Beth Mowins is a regular contributor to ESPN.com's women's basketball coverage.