So Long Seimone

With a little over a minute left to play in the game, the 10,074 people at hand in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center rose to their feet as Seimone Augustus took her final bow.

The Lady Tiger's victory over the Mississippi State Bulldogs marked the final regular season game for the team's signature player for the past four years.

Augustus went out in style, scoring 27 points, including a fancy between the legs dribble and shoot in her final shot.

"It just happened. I guess it was perfect timing," Augustus said. "I'm glad the shot went in."

Although this game has been talked about since the beginning of the season, Augustus stayed in her usual pregame routine. She said she tried not to think about her final regular season game too much, and just wanted to focus on Mississippi State.

"I got some claps and cheers and pictures and all that before entering, but everything once I got inside the PMAC was all the same," Augustus said.

Those claps amplified as Augustus ran on the court to receive a bouquet of purple and gold flowers from her coach Pokey Chapman and a key to the city from Baton Rouge mayor Kip Holden.

With all of the activities, Augustus tried to remain focused on the game. That focus, however, did not stop her from having some stomach jitters. Augustus sat on the bench early in the second half with stomach cramps not caused from nerves, but her breakfast.

"I think I ate something this morning, probably candy with Sylvia [Fowles], as usual," Augustus joked.

Although Augustus remained calm before the game, Tiger fans were anxious to see their favorite player for the final time in Baton Rouge. Four page special sections of newspaper dedicated to Augustus were placed on every seat in the bottom two levels of the PMAC.

LSU students received free t-shirts honoring Augustus's "Last Stop" upon walking in to the game. Headbands, Augustus's signature apparel, with her silhouette were also tossed in the crowd during timeouts.

Additionally, fans were encouraged to bring signs to display during the game. Fans wrote their love and support to Augustus, one sign showing a retired Augustus jersey hanging from the PMAC ceiling while another thanked her for staying home.

Augustus, a Baton Rouge native, attended Capital High School, where she led her team to two state titles.

When it came time for her to make the decision on which college to attend, Augustus waived the numerous other scholarship offers and decided to stay close to home at LSU.

During an official timeout during the game, a highlight video of Augustus's high school games was shown on the scoreboard.

A highlight video of Augustus's collegiate career might take longer that a commercial break. Augustus has received numerous honors while at LSU.

In 2003, she was voted as the Louisiana, SEC, and National Freshman of the Year. She has been named to the First Team All-Louisiana all three years, First Team All-SEC the past two years, and First Team All-American, SEC Player of the Year, and Consensus National Player of the Year in 2005.

Augustus also walks away as the nation's leading scorer this season.

For the past four years, Augustus has been the face of LSU women's basketball. She ignited the program and brought the national spotlight to the Lady Tigers.

She led the Lady Tigers to a Southeastern Conference Tournament Championship in 2004, two regular season conference championships in 2005 and 2006, and two consecutive NCAA Final Four appearances in 2004 and 2005.

In 2005, Augustus and the Tigers held the number one position in the AP polls for 11 consecutive weeks.

Augustus has also drawn fans to the sport. From 1999 to 2002, an average of 1,449 fans attended LSU women's basketball game. However, in the four years since Augustus's arrival, LSU averaged 6,001 fans per game.

Twelve of the 15 largest crowds in LSU history have also come while Augustus has been on the team. The 2005 home game against Tennessee drew an audience of 15,233 fans.

Even with many people attending Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans, Augustus's final game drew the eighth largest home crowd in LSU women's basketball history.

Augustus said that fan support has helped her and the rest of the team to work hard and stay focused both on and off the court.

"LSU, not just the coaching staff and not just basketball, but the fans and the community around here have done a great job of helping us cope with difficult situations and helping us get through it as young ladies and growing up as women," she said.

Even as the final buzzer sounded and the realization that she just played her final home game set in, Augustus vowed not to be too emotional. She joked she was not going to cry because there are too mane emotional people on the team already, but she also wants to look toward the future.

"I've had a great time here, and its time to move on and look for bigger and better things, not only with basketball but with life," she said.

With an offer to play in the WNBA almost a guarantee and bachelors degrees in business and general studies, Augustus has multiple options after the season.

As for this season, Augustus and the Lady Tigers still have goals they want to accomplish.

LSU is seeded as the number one team in the SEC Tournament, and, with a bit of prodding from Chapman, Augustus said the team needs to practice and prepare for the postseason.

The Tigers are also looking to the NCAA Tournament where they hope to get back to the Final Four for the third year in a row and win the school's first championship in women's basketball.

"We'll continue to make history here," Augustus said, "and try to win that tournament and try to win the overall goal which is the national title."

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