BATON ROUGE -- The LSU women’s basketball team will play in the Preseason Women’s National Invitational Tournament, travel to the Barclays Center Invitational in Brooklyn, N.Y., and host perennial powers Tennessee and Texas A&M as the 2013-14 Lady Tiger schedule was unveiled on Tuesday.
LSU will face at least 11 teams who reached the NCAA Tournament last season and possibly more should it advance through the WNIT bracket, which features Final Four participant Louisville, Oklahoma and Gonzaga.
“We have a challenging non-conference schedule and have the privilege of playing in the WNIT and Barclays Invitational,” said LSU head coach Nikki Caldwell, who enters her third season. “This will be a great opportunity for our team to experience playing in both of those events and against high-caliber opponents. It will definitely get us ready for conference play.
“We have a dynamic team that can change the tempo of the game. This team will play like they are on a mission. We are excited about the future of our program and look forward to seeing our fans at the Maravich Center this season.”
The Lady Tigers’ WNIT season-opener against Stephen F. Austin on Friday, Nov. 8 will also be the Sue Gunter Classic in the Maravich Center. The late legendary coach and Naismith Hall of Famer spent 12 seasons as Stephen F. Austin where she won 266 games. She then went on to become the winningest coach in LSU history with 442 victories in 21 seasons.
“It is important that we keep Coach Gunter’s legacy alive here at LSU,” said Caldwell. “She meant so much to the sport and this is a great way to recognize her because of how much she meant to the programs she put on the map at LSU and Stephen F. Austin.”
The Lady Tigers are guaranteed to host two games in the WNIT with the second one on Sunday, Nov. 10 against either Saint Joseph’s, an NCAA Tournament team a year ago, or Mount St. Mary’s. Louisville is also on the same side of the bracket and the two could possibly meet in the semifinals.
After a home game against Hampton on Nov. 20, the Lady Tigers close the first month of the season with three straight games away from Baton Rouge. LSU renews its rivalry with Louisiana Tech on Saturday, Nov. 23 before heading to New York City to play in the Barclays Center Invitational, Nov. 29-30.
The Lady Tigers will tipoff against Rutgers at noon CT Friday, Nov. 29. Michigan and Texas Tech meet in the first contest. The two losers then face off at 6 p.m. CT Saturday, while the two winners meet in the championship game at 8:30 p.m. CT in primetime at the state-of-the-art Barclays Center, home of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets.
The month of December features home games against Indiana State (Dec. 3), Florida Gulf Coast (Dec. 17) and Jackson State (Dec. 30). LSU will face a tough test at NC State on Friday, Dec. 20.
The Southeastern Conference slate begins in grand fashion as the Lady Tigers and defending conference champion Tennessee face off in Knoxville on Thursday, Jan. 2. The SEC home opener then takes centerstage against Texas A&M on Thursday, Jan. 9. Other home games in the month of January include: Florida (Jan. 12), Auburn (Jan. 23) and Mississippi State (Jan. 30).
The February schedule is highlighted by three tough road games at Kentucky on Feb. 2, at Texas A&M on Feb. 9 and at Georgia on Feb. 20. The Lady Tigers then get South Carolina at home on Feb. 16 and Arkansas in the Maravich Center on Feb. 23.
A marquee home finale on “Senior Night” is the return of Tennessee to the Maravich Center on Thursday, Feb. 27. LSU closes league play at Alabama on March 2.
The 2014 SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament will be held for the second consecutive year at The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga. The tournament will include all 14 teams and begins on Wednesday, March 5 and concludes with the championship game on Sunday, March 9.
Game times, a television and promotional schedule will be finalized at a later date.
Deposits of $16 are still being taken at LSUtix.net and at the LSU Athletics Ticket Office on 2013-14 basketball tickets. The deposits can be used toward season tickets or mini-plans which will be announced soon.