'Special senior class' has home finale

LSU's third-ranked women's basketball team hosts Mississippi State on Sunday at 2 p.m. CST in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in the final home game of the 2005-06 season and the final home game for seniors Seimone Augustus, Scholanda Hoston and Florence Williams.

LSU (24-2, 12-1 SEC) clinched at least a share of the program's second straight Southeastern Conference regular season title with Thursday's victory at Alabama. The Lady Tigers also wrapped up the No. 1 seed in next week's SEC Tournament.

The trio of seniors, who will be honored in a ceremony before the game, will make it an emotional afternoon.

"This is a special senior class," LSU head coach Pokey Chatman said. "It is obviously headlined by Seimone Augustus."

Augustus, the 2004-05 consensus National Player of the Year, ranks in the top six in seven career statistical categories at LSU, including first in games started and third in points scored. In fact, the Baton Rouge native is only three points away from moving into second-place on LSU's all-time scoring list.

"It is hard to believe that the child this community has raised will grow and go on," Chatman added about Augustus. "We have been part of a lot of special memories."

During the fours of these senior's careers, LSU has posted 114 wins, including the 24 this season. In 2003, the Lady Tigers captured the program's second SEC Tournament title and earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. The following season saw LSU advance to the program's first NCAA Final Four in New Orleans, and last season the Lady Tigers earned the program's first SEC regular season title, a second No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and a second straight tip to the Final Four.

"The other two seniors, Scholanda (Hoston) and Florence (Williams), are fifth year seniors and play in intricate part of Seimone and her success and the success of this program," Chatman said.

Hoston has started 75 games in her career and ranks 18th on LSU's career scoring list. The Miami, Fla., native known for her defensive ability, has 220 steals and sits seventh on LSU's career list.

Williams, also a Miami native and four-year high school teammate of Hoston, has started 11 games and has 294 points and 201 rebounds in her career.

Augustus, who is in a virtual tie as the nation's leading scorer, leads LSU into Sunday's game. She is averaging 22.3 points per game and is coming off a 32-point performance in the victory at Alabama on Thursday.

Sylvia Fowles, a 6-6 sophomore, is posting 16.9 points and a league-best 11.7 rebounds per game.

Mississippi State (6-20, 1-12 SEC) enters the game on an 11-game losing streak and sits in 12th-place in the SEC standings.

Freshman guard Robin Parker leads the Lady Bulldogs with 10.5 points per game.

This will be the 39th meeting between the two schools. LSU leads the series 34-4, including 13 straight wins. The Lady Tigers have also never lost to Mississippi State in the Maravich Center, holding a 17-0 advantage there.

LSU, the No. 1 seed in the SEC Tournament, will play on Friday at noon CST in North Little Rock, Ark., against the winner of the No. 8 seed vs. No. 9 seed game on Thursday.

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