Lady Tigers ready to begin run

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- For the second time in as many seasons, the LSU women's basketball team opens the NCAA Tournament in the state of Tennessee as a No. 1 seed. This season, the Lady Tigers face first-time dancer Florida Atlantic at approximately 1:30 p.m. on Saturday at Vanderbilt's Memorial Gymnasium.

The game will be televised regionally by ESPN2 (coverage map), with the entire state of Louisiana along with southeast Florida receiving constant coverage. Other regions will only have "look-in" access.

LSU (27-3), ranked No. 5 and coming off a one-point loss to Tennessee in the SEC Tournament Championship game, won the conference's regular-season title with a 13-1 record that included a victory over the Lady Vols in Knoxville on Feb. 9.

The Lady Tigers begin their quest for a third-consecutive Women's Final Four appearance against the No. 16-seeded Owls from Boca Raton, Fla.

On Friday, LSU took part in media interviews prior to practicing for about an hour at Memorial Gymnasium.

Florida Atlantic (20-10), under the tutelage of seventh-year head coach Chancellor Dugan, won the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament Championship over Gardner-Webb (74-63) on March 11 in Dothan, Ala.

The Owls are making their first appearance in the NCAA Division I Tournament since making the jump from Division II in 1993-94.

Dugan (99-103) is in search of her 100th victory at Florida Atlantic.

Shontavia Williams, a 5-7 senior guard, leads FAU with 16.2 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. She played against LSU's Hoston, Fowles and Florence Williams while in high school in Miami.

Two-time SEC Player of the Year, senior Seimone Augustus, leads LSU with an NCAA-record 127-consecutive double-figures scoring games. The Baton Rouge native also leads the nation in scoring (23.0 ppg.), has the most career points of any active women's player and ranks 16th in the nation in field goal percentage (57.8).

Augustus is flanked by 6-6 sophomore center Sylvia Fowles, who averages 16.7 points and 11.6 rebounds per game. The two will start along with sophomore point guard Erica White (5.1 ppg, 5.7 apg.), senior shooting guard Scholanda Hoston (8.7 ppg., 2.6 rpg.) and sophomore post Ashley Thomas (4.1 ppg., 4.4 rpg.).

LSU has posted 11-straight NCAA Tournament wins in the month of March, including the past four under head coach Pokey Chatman.

Should the Lady Tigers defeat the Owls, the second round will be played here in Nashville at either 6 or 8:30 p.m. CT on Monday.

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