Augustus, seniors leave PMAC on winning terms

Seimone Augustus made a commitment to LSU four years ago.

Sunday, LSU said thank you.

Over 10,000 fans turned out to say goodbye to Augustus as the Lady Tiger senior and reigning National Player of the Year played her final home game in the Pete Maravich Center.

"I told everybody I wasn't going to cry," Augustus said. "I don't think tears would have helped the situation. There were enough emotional people in here. I didn't want to bring the house down."

Augustus led LSU (25-2, 13-1 SEC) with 27 points as the Lady Tigers clinched their second consecutive outright SEC title with a 62-48 victory over last place Mississippi State. LSU enters the SEC Tournament next weekend in North Little Rock, Ark. as the No. 1 overall seed.

However, the postseason could wait Sunday as the day was all about Augustus. She and fellow seniors Scholanda Hoston and Florence Williams, were honored in pregame and postgame ceremonies.

"I got claps, tears and pictures when I was walking up, but once I got inside the PMAC, everything else was the same," Augustus said. LSU coach Pokey Chatman proved to be the most emotional as she joined her three seniors in the postgame press conference.

"I am an emotional person," Chatman said. "It's happy tears though. I am probably having a tougher time with it. I have probably thought about it more than anyone."

In four years at LSU, the Augustus-led senior class helped the Lady Tigers to a 115-17 overall record, two SEC titles and a pair of Final Four appearances. Sunday, she set a school record starting her 132nd straight game and moved into second place on the school's all-time scoring list (2,513) surpassing Julie Gross.

Hosting the last place Lady Bulldogs (6-21, 1-13), the game itself wasn't expected to be much of a contest. However, Mississippi State took advantage of a slow start by LSU. Doceide Warren connected on a three-pointer at the 9:18 mark of the first half tying the score 16-16.

LSU responded with a 15-2 run to close out the first half with a 31-18 lead. The Lady Tigers led by as many as 20 points in the second half before Augustus took her last curtain call before the home crowd. Her final shot proved to be a memorable one. Augustus flashed to the top of the key, shook loose from her defender with a cross over dribble and drained a 15 footer, which brought the crowd of 10,074 to its feet.

"I am just glad it went in," Augustus grinned. Sylvia Fowles was the only other Lady Tigers to finish in double figures and logged a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Robin Porter led Mississippi State with 17 points. Mamie McKinney added 14 points for the Lady Bulldogs.

As the final horn sounded, a 2006 SEC Champion banner was unfurled from the rafters of the Maravich Center.

"It may be the final game for these three seniors," Chatman said. "But the one thing that feels good is watching banners drop in here and we are going to try our hardest to keep that going."

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