BATON ROUGE - It will be a top-5 duel when the fourth-ranked LSU gymnastics team takes on No. 5 Alabama in the Sixth Annual Etta James Memorial Meet at 7 p.m. CT Friday in the Maravich Center.
For the sixth straight year, LSU is partnering with former Tiger football star and current NFL linebacker Bradie James to raise money for his organization Foundation 56. In the past five years the gymnastics team and the local community have joined together to raise more than $250,000 to support Foundation 56's efforts to fight breast cancer in Louisiana.
Tickets to the meet are $1 each, and tickets are still available for purchase at www.LSUtix.net, in person at the LSU Ticket Office on the first floor of the Athletic Administration Building on campus, or by phone at 225-578-2184. Fans can also purchase tickets at the Maravich Center starting at 5:30 p.m. Friday.
The first 5,000 to arrive at the meet will receive free pink pom poms, and with a donation of $10 to Foundation 56 fans will receive a "Fight Like a Tiger" t-shirt. Youth and adult size shirts will be available in the upper concourse of the Maravich Center throughout the meet.
The first 25 kids to arrive between 5-5:30 p.m. will be able to watch LSU warm up from the competition floor as part of the "Warm Up with the Tigers" promotion.
It is also Alumni Night as LSU welcomes back and honors former gymnasts prior to the meet.
"The fact that Bradie James has teamed up with us and we are doing this in memory of his mother, the meet just takes on a life of its own," LSU head coach D-D Breaux said. "We are so excited to have such an incredible opponent coming in for this meet, and we are thrilled that it will be a fantastic athletic event for such a great cause.
"We hope to see the Maravich Center full of Tiger fans who will not only support the team but will also support Foundation 56's fight against breast cancer."
The meet marks the 2013 home finale for the Tigers, and LSU is looking to close out the home schedule at a perfect 5-0. LSU is 8-1 the last two seasons at home and 21-5 inside the Maravich Center over the last five seasons.
LSU (9-3) enters the meet ranked No. 1 nationally on floor, No. 2 on vault and No. 6 on bars, and the Tigers will face a stiff challenge from the Crimson Tide who rank third on vault, third on beam, fourth on floor and eighth on bars.
LSU is coming off a 197.050-196.825 victory at home against Georgia last week, while Alabama enters the meet following a 197.075-196.375 win in Tuscaloosa versus UCLA.
Four Tigers are ranked among the top 25 heading into Friday's clash. Sophomore Rheagan Courville ranks fourth in the all-around, fourth on vault, 11th on floor and 16th on beam. Sophomore Lloimincia Hall is No. 2 on floor, junior Sarie Morrison is No. 4 on bars and freshman Jessica Savona is No. 21 on floor.
Alabama (5-2-1) is led by junior Kim Jacob who ranks 13th in the all-around, No. 5 on floor and 11th on beam.
Live stats will be available on www.LSUsports.net, and live video will be available to Geaux Zone members at www.LSUsports.net/live.
Fans can also receive live meet updates by following LSU gymnastics on the team's social media sites - @LSUgym on Twitter and www.Facebook.com/lsugym.