BATON ROUGE - The second year of the Nikki Caldwell era officially begins for LSU women's basketball at 2 p.m. Sunday as the Lady Tigers host Wichita State in the 2012-13 season-opener in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
The contest will be televised live on Cox4 in Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Lafayette. Live streaming HD video and audio is available to members of the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net/live. Patrick Wright begins his 23rd season as the "Voice of the Lady Tigers" and he will call the game on the LSU Sports Radio Network on 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge.
Doors to the Maravich Center open at 1 p.m. Sunday. Individual general admission tickets cost $6 for adults and $3 for youth, ages 3-12. LSU students are admitted free to games with a valid LSU ID. Tickets can be purchased at www.LSUtix.net. On gameday, tickets go on sale one hour prior to tipoff on the upper ramps of the Maravich Center.
The first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive a free LSU mini basketball hoop.
LSU, which went 2-0 in exhibition play with wins over Xavier (La.) and North Alabama, will take the floor in the Maravich Center in an official game for the first time since the 2012 NCAA Tournament second round loss to Penn State. This year's team is eager to put a stamp on the season.
"We need to really focus in on every possession and hopefully the outcome will be in our favor," said Caldwell. "We have the tools, personnel and competitive spirit to get back there (to the NCAA Tournament). Offensively, we need to share the basketball, take good shots and have a good turnover ratio."
Wichita State was picked to finish second in the Missouri Valley Conference, tying for their highest projection ever. The Shockers, coached by Jody Adams, reached the WNIT postseason last year and finished with a 20-13 overall record. Adams and Caldwell are very close friends and the two were teammates at Tennessee.
"Jody Adams is one of the best in the business," said Caldwell. "She is a very disciplined coach and they play very hard. She too was on that 1991 (Tennessee) championship team. She understands and knows what it takes to win, and she has that competitive drive that her teams display.
Adams has joined Caldwell in the fight against breast cancer as she routinely rides in "Cruisin' for a Cause."
"She's joined our other team," said Caldwell. "She's very passionate in the fight against breast cancer. I definitely appreciate her support in helping us raise funds to find a cure for breast cancer."
LSU guard Adrienne Webb begins the final season of her collegiate career. In two exhibition contests, Webb averaged 21.0 points and welcomed the return of her three-point shot. She buried four on Tuesday against North Alabama. Webb is the Lady Tigers' leading returning scorer after putting up 9.9 points per contest last season.
LSU has won seven consecutive games against non-SEC competition in the regular season, a streak that dates back to Dec. 11 last year. The Lady Tigers owned a non-conference regular season record of 10-3 last season, which included a 7-1 mark at home. LSU's last non-conference regular season loss was at No. 18 Ohio State on Nov. 27.
LSU and Wichita State met last season in Wichita as the Lady Tigers scored a 64-56 victory to open the Caldwell era.