BATON ROUGE - The LSU women's basketball team, winners of three straight, concludes a stretch of four games in nine days as the Lady Tigers welcome McNeese State, the defending Southland Conference champions, to the Maravich Center for a special 2 p.m. tipoff on Friday.
All fans are encouraged to wear Christmas sweaters to the game. Any fan wearing a Christmas sweater, whether it is old or new, can get into the contest for a special ticket price of $2 redeemable on gameday at the Maravich Center box office. Doors to the arena open at 1 p.m.
The game will be carried on the LSU Sports Radio Network on 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge with Patrick Wright calling the action. Live HD video and audio is available to members of the Geaux Zone on www.LSUsports.net/live.
The Lady Tigers (7-3) face a quick turnaround after defeating Grambling, 90-59, on Wednesday night in the Maravich Center. LSU reached the 90-point mark for the first time in regulation since a 92-19 win over Centenary in the 2009 season-opener. Friday's game is LSU's third straight against a Louisiana opponent.
"The non-conference schedule is dwindling down and wins are important before you head into conference play," said LSU head coach Nikki Caldwell. "We must stress to our team that there is work to be done before Christmas. They (the players) aren't at home yet. This will be a good test Friday."
The Cowgirls (4-4) come into the contest winless in the month of December after losses to Louisiana Tech and Rice. McNeese, which took Kentucky to the wire in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament, is led in scoring by senior twins Ashlyn and Caitlyn Baggett who are both averaging 15.9 points per game. The Cowgirls notched 71 points in a loss at Vanderbilt to start the season.
"We have spent a lot of time watching McNeese," said Caldwell. "They are a team we better be ready to defend from the perimeter because they can knock shots down. Transition defense is going to be a must as well. This will be one of the better shooting teams we see."
Caldwell has stabilized a solid lineup that features guards Jeanne Kenney, Adrienne Webb and Danielle Ballard and post players Theresa Plaisance and Shanece McKinney. Plaisance is back atop the Southeastern Conference as the league's leading scorer with 17.7 points per game. She has scored in double-figures in every contest but the season-opener and she leads the SEC in blocks per game with 3.3.
Danielle Ballard continues to make an early case for SEC Freshman of the Year honors. Ballard is second among all SEC freshmen in scoring with 13.2 points per game, while she is tops among all freshmen in steals with 3.2 per contest. Ballard tied an LSU freshman record with seven steals against Grambling.
Webb is the newest member of the 1,000-point club in LSU history after contributing 19 points on Wednesday. She ranks 12th in the SEC in scoring with 13.9 points per game. She heads into the McNeese game with 1,012 career points.
McKinney has made a significant impact since entering the starting lineup three games ago against East Tennessee State. She has combined for 29 points and 28 rebounds in the last three games.
LSU is 14-4 all-time against McNeese State, including a 9-2 mark in Baton Rouge. The two teams are playing for the first time in the PMAC since an 83-28 Lady Tiger win on Dec. 20, 2006. The Cowgirls' last victory over LSU came on Feb. 14, 1983 in Lake Charles.