Lady Tigers open season with Maine

LSU's second-ranked Lady Tigers basketball team begins the 2004-05 season on Thursday by hosting the the University of Maine in the Women's Sports Foundation Classic at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

The Lady Tigers will tip off against the Blackbears at approximately 7 p.m., following the opening game between Arizona State and Virginia at 5 p.m. CST.

LSU, which received the highest preseason ranking in the program's history with a No. 2 ranking by the coaches and No. 3 by the Associated Press, is coming off a run to the Final Four in 2004 under acting head coach Pokey Chatman. Chatman, now the Lady Tigers' head coach following the retirement of Hall of Famer Sue Gunter, begins her own era of leading the program. 

Preseason All-American Seimone Augustus leads the Lady Tigers on the floor. The junior guard averaged 19.4 points last season and is coming off a 28-point performance in the team's exhibition victory last week.

Senior point guard Temeka Johnson also leads the Lady Tigers. The preseason All-SEC selection averaged 12.8 points and 8.3 assists per game last season.  

LSU also returns three other players that started at least 18 games for last year's squad, including sophomore Hanna Biernacka (27 starts), senior Tillie Willis (21 starts) and Wendlyn Jones (18 starts).  

Maine, the preseason pick to win the America East Conference title and the defending champions, is led by senior guard Missy Traversi and sixth-year head coach Sharon Versyp.

This will be the second meeting between Maine and LSU on the court. The Lady Tigers defeated the Blackbears in the opening round of the 1997 NCAA Tournament in the Maravich Center.  

The winners of Thursday's games will meet in the championship game of the tournament on Friday at 7 p.m., while the consolation game will begin at 5 p.m. CST.

Tickets for the tournament are still available for $7 for reserve seats and $5 for general admission.   


MAINE (2003-04 stats)

G    5              Missy Traversi                     5-7           Sr.        7.7 ppg   2.0 rpg

G    22            Kim Corbitt                            5-7           Sr.      5.9 ppg   2.6 rpg

F    54            Monica Peterson                  6-0           Sr.        7.4 ppg   5.9 rpg

F    34            Bracey Barker                       6-1           So.      1.5 ppg   1.0 rpg

C    15            Nicole Jay                              6-6           Sr.     1.2 ppg   1.2 rpg


LSU (exhibition Stats)

G    2              Temeka Johnson                  5-3           Sr.       7.0 ppg   5.0 apg  

G    32            Scholanda Hoston               5-10         Jr.         10.0ppg 2.0apg                  

F    33            Seimone Augustus              6-1           Jr.         28.0 ppg 6.0 rpg   

F    32            Wendlyn Jones                    6-1           Jr.        6.0 ppg   7.0 rpg   

C    31            Sylvia Fowles                       6-5           Fr.       20.0 ppg 10.0 rpg

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