Lady Tigers Open New Year Against Nebraska

LSU's Allison Hightower
LSU's Allison Hightower
LSUsports.net
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BATON ROUGE -- The LSU women’s basketball team rings in 2009 as the Lady Tigers play host to Nebraska at 1 p.m. CST on New Year’s Day in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Tickets are available for as low as $1.

Live streaming video and audio of the game is available to members of the Geaux Zone on www.LSUsports.net. The contest is also available in the Baton Rouge area on the LSU Sports Network on 107.3 FM.

LSU (5-4) is coming off a heartbreaking 61-57 loss to Florida State on Sunday in the Maravich Center. Junior guard Allison Hightower buried a career-high 20 points, and freshman forward Ayana Dunning enjoyed a career day with 11 points on 5-of-5 shooting in 17 minutes off the bench.

Hightower enters Thursday’s contest as the team leader in three categories, including a team-best 13.0 points per game. Hightower ranks eighth in the Southeastern Conference in field goal percentage (.440) and sixth in minutes played (30.4).

Sophomore Katherine Graham posts a team-best 5.9 rebounds per game. Freshman forward LaSondra Barrett is second on the team in points (8.7) and rebounds per game (4.9).

Despite seeing its four-game winning streak come to an end, LSU still ranks first in the SEC in scoring defense allowing only 49.8 points per game. The Lady Tigers are third in the league in field goal percentage defense (.351).

Nebraska (9-3) is coming off of its biggest win of the season with a 62-58 come-from-behind victory over 24th-ranked Arizona State on Sunday in Lincoln. The Cornhuskers return four starters from a squad that reached the NCAA Tournament last season before losing in the second round to Maryland, 76-64.

Nebraska is led by junior forward Cory Montgomery, the reigning Big 12 Player of the Week, who averages a team-best 13.8 points and 7.8 boards per game. Montgomery has four 20-point games to her credit this season and three double-doubles.

LSU and Nebraska are meeting for just the second time. The Lady Tigers defeated the Huskers, 74-55, in the 2005 Miami Thanksgiving Classic behind a pair of 20-point performances from former LSU All-Americans Sylvia Fowles and Seimone Augustus.

LSU is playing on New Year’s Day for just the third time in the 34-year history of the program. The Lady Tigers posted a 99-35 blowout victory of North Carolina A&T on Jan. 1, 2006. LSU also played St. Bonaventure on Jan. 1, 1995 as part of the Portland Shootout.

LSU begins a two-game road swing following the game as the Lady Tigers travel to face top-ranked Connecticut at 11 a.m. CST Saturday in Hartford. The game, which is the first out-of-state contest for LSU this season, will be televised to a national audience on CBS.

The Lady Tigers then open SEC play on the road at Arkansas on Jan. 8 at 7 p.m. CST.