A Look Back at 2004-05: Whether good or bad, it is all history

Tiger Rag looks back at the Top 10 Games to Remember during the 2004-05 LSU athletic season.


1. Lady Tigers 68, Tennessee 58 – Feb. 10, 2004


The showdown of all showdowns, Pat Summitt brought her No. 4-ranked Lady Volunteers into the Maravich Center for a critical showdown with top-ranked LSU. For years, the veteran Summitt had ventured into Baton Rouge to do battle with Sue Gunter's Lady Tigers. On this night, it was the same two teams, but a new face on the Lady Tiger bench – Pokey Chatman. A highly anticipated rematch of a 2004 Final Four meeting, in which Tennessee won at the buzzer, LSU dazzled a Maravich Center record crowd of over 15,000 in slaying Summitt's Lady Vols 68-58. Seimone Augustus virtually ended all discussion of who was the league's (as well as the nation's) top player and freshman Sylvia Fowles arrived as the country's most dominant post player. LSU went on to post a 14-0 record and win its first-ever outright SEC regular season crown. Tennessee finished 13-1 in SEC play.



2. LSU 24, Florida 21 – Oct. 9, 2004


GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Looking to avenge the only loss of LSU's national championship season in 2003, the Tigers went to Gainesville looking to pull off a rare feat – defeat the Gators in The Swamp for the second straight time. Nick Saban's Tigers beat Florida 36-7 in 2002, marking the first LSU win at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium since the pre-Steve Spurrier era. A week removed from the most lopsided loss of the Saban regime seven days earlier in Athens, it was a must-win for the Tigers. After falling behind 14-0 on a pair of JaMarcus Russell interceptions, Marcus Randall came on to lead LSU back from a 14-point deficit – twice – and tossed the game-winning touchdown to Joseph Addai with a little more than a minute remaining. The Tigers celebrated as Florida fans sat shocked. The 24-21 LSU victory proved to be the beginning of the end of the Ron Zook era in Gainesville.



3. LSU 62, Alabama 60 – Feb. 22, 2005


In a tumultuous season of highs and lows for John Brady's Tigers, there is little doubt what was the brightest spot for the eventual SEC Western Division champions. In front of a nationally-televised audience on ESPN, Ross Neltner's last-second tip-in versus Alabama drew praise from SEC scribes as the top play of the year in the conference. Before the largest crowd of the year for an LSU men's game, an inspired Tiger club came out on fire racing out to a 15-2 lead on Mark Gottfried's stunned Crimson Tide. Alabama fought back and closed the gap to within two points at halftime 30-28. By the game's closing minutes, the contest was too close to call. LSU led by three 60-57 late in the game when Kennedy Winston drained a three-pointer off the glass. On the ensuing possession, Brady had the ball in the hands of eventual SEC Player of the Year Brandon Bass. Bass launched a mid-range jumper with seconds remaining, but his offering rimmed out. Neltner was Johnny-on-the-spot tipping in the rebound setting off a deafening celebration.



4. Kentucky 79, LSU 78 OT – March 12, 2005


ATLANTA - Despite the fact LSU came out on the short end on this day, this particular one-point loss to the Kentucky Wildcats in the SEC Tournament semifinals had an old school feel to it. During the late 1970s and throughout the 80s, LSU-Kentucky was one of the premiere basketball series in all of college hoops. However, with the decline of the Tiger program in the mid 1990s, the rivalry lost its luster. In John Brady's tenure as head coach, LSU had beaten Kentucky only once – a 70-57 thrashing in 2000. In the teams only regular season meeting in 2005, the Wildcats handed LSU the second-worst loss of the Brady era, an 89-58 defeat in Lexington. The Tigers rebounded from that loss with an improbable run through the SEC regular season, winning the western division. And when the teams locked horns in Atlanta, it was anybody's game. The game was a back and forth struggle most of the way. With five minutes left in regulation, the Wildcats led by eight points. But the Tigers fought back and a Brandon Bass jumper rattled in at the buzzer sending the game to overtime. A Glen Davis free throw with 1:46 left gave LSU a five point lead 78-73, but the Wildcats scored six straight points, including a Chuck Hayes layup with 12 seconds left to play for the game winner.



5. LSU 22, Oregon State 21 – Sept. 4, 2004


What was supposed to be the celebrations to end all celebrations, the Tigers debut as defending national champions turned out a little on the soggy side – in more ways than one. Aside from nearly an hour rain delay prior to kickoff that left the capacity crowd drenched, LSU needed a fourth quarter comeback and trio of missed extra points by Oregon State kicker Alexis Serna to nip the underdog Beavers 22-21. The Tigers trailed 15-7 with less than two minutes to go when redshirt freshman quarterback JaMarcus Russell came off the bench to engineer a last gasp drive, ending in a touchdown pass to Dwayne Bowe. Russell converted the two-point run and Marcus Randall came on to give LSU a 22-15 lead in the first overtime period. Oregon State answered with a touchdown of its own in overtime, but Serna pushed the PAT wide right as Tigers fans exhaled with a collective sigh of relief.



6. Lady Tigers 59, Duke 49 – March 28, 2005


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - LSU's chance for a second-straight Final Four berth hung in the balance. The Duke Lady Devils had built a 12-point, 24-12 midway through the first half and showed no signs of letting up. However, LSU went on an 18-6 run over the final 8:12 of the first half knotting the score at 30. Seimone Augustus gave LSU its first lead with the initial bucket of the second and LSU never looked back outscoring Duke 29-19 the rest of the way advancing to the program's second ever Final Four. The Lady Tigers set an NCAA Tournament record holding its first four tournament opponents below 50 points.



7. LSU 113, Ohio State 101 OT – Jan. 15, 2005


Having compiled an 8-5 record and the natives growing rapidly restless, the LSU Tiger basketball team needed something big to happen. With upstart Ohio State of the Big 10 coming to town, John Brady's team had their chance. The Tigers got off to a good start scoring quickly on the Buckeyes. But Ohio State answered with a three-point barrage, culminating with a three-pointer with just under one minute remaining for an 80-77. Lead. But with time expiring Darrel Mitchell drained a trey of his own sending the game into bonus action. In the first extra stanza, it was LSU in the driver seat. But the Buckeyes buried a three-pointer from the corner to again tie the score, this time at 93. However, in the additional period, Brandon Bass took control putting the Tigers out front by as many as 11 points twice, before LSU pulled away to win by a dozen 113-101.  It proved to be just the spark the Tigers needed as LSU won 13 of their next 15 games capturing the SEC Western Division title.



8. Lady Tigers 76, Georgia 52 – Jan. 8, 2005


Coming off their first loss of the season, a 51-49 setback at Rutgers, Pokey Chatman's Lady Tigers needed a confidence boost. They got just that at home versus No. 17 Georgia. In front of 10,624 fans, LSU used runs of 11-2 to close out the first half and 10-0 coming out of the shoots in the second to trounce the Lady Bulldogs 76-52 in the Lady Tigers most dominating victory of the season. Seimone Augustus left the game midway through the second half with an elbow injury, but her teammates finished off Andy Landers' squad in impressive fashion as a nationally-televised crowd watched on CBS.



9. Lady Tigers 8, Arkansas 3 – April 4, 2005


LSU head coach Yvette Girouard won her 1,000th career game defeating Arkansas 8-3 at Tiger Park. Girouard became only the fifth head coach in NCAA Division I softball history and the sixth coach in NCAA history at any division to win 1,000 career games. She joins Fresno State head coach Margie Wright, Florida State head coach JoAnne Graf, Iowa head coach Gayle Blevins and Arizona head coach Mike Candrea as the only coaches in Division I history to reach the millennium mark. The two-time National coach of the Year and seven-time Regional Coach of the Year will be inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame this summer in Orlando, Fla. In her 25th season as a head coach, she also ranks as the fifth winningest coach in NCAA Division I history by percentage, posting a 1000-316 record for a .760 career winning percentage.



10. Tigers 3, Arkansas 0 – Oct. 29, 2004


Artie Brown set the LSU career goals and points record as the LSU Soccer team shutout Arkansas 3-0. The game went scoreless through the first half as both teams struggled to dent the scoreboard. In the 84th minute the Tigers finally got on the board for a 1-0lead. LSU scored again in the 88th minute when Brown broke away from Arkansas defenders popping the net setting new career goals and points records. Brown was not done yet when in the 89th minute she slipped by Arkansas defenders again ripping the back of the goal. With the two-goal performance Brown reset the LSU career goals record with 38 and the career points mark with 82.

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