BATON ROUGE - The LSU women's basketball team looks to rebounds from its first home loss of the season at 7 p.m. Thursday as the Lady Tigers play host to East Tennessee State in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
LSU will hold a holiday food drive prior to the game. All fans are urged to bring canned goods as there will be six barrels set up around the Maravich Center entrances. All canned good donations will go directly to the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.
Any fan that brings at least one canned good can purchase a special $2 ticket for admission to Thursday's contest at the Maravich Center box office. Doors open to the arena at 6 p.m. In addition, two pairs of Chick-fil-A Bowl tickets will be given away at halftime.
The contest will be televised live by Cox Sports Television CST with Lyn Rollins and Victor Howell handling the call. The LSU Sports Radio Network will carry it on 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge and to members of the Geaux Zone. Live streaming HD video is also available to Geaux Zone members. In-game updates are available via Twitter at www.Twitter.com/LSUwbkb.
The Lady Tigers (4-3) fell to Tulane in overtime on Sunday by a score of 66-64, and the squad is eager to put the loss behind them with games on Thursday and another in-state opponent in Louisiana Tech coming to Baton Rouge on Sunday.
"We have a stretch of four games in eight days," said head coach Nikki Caldwell. "There's work to be done between now and Christmas. Two of our three losses have been by one basket. We have to understand how to closeout games. We have to get defensive stops and several in a row."
ETSU (2-2) is returning to action for the first time since Dec. 2 after defeating Morehead State, 57-53. The Lady Tigers and Lady Bucs met last season in Johnson City, Tenn. LSU was on the ropes until Swayze Black buried a buzzer-beater to force overtime in a game that was sealed with four late free throws from LaSondra Barrett.
ETSU nailed 10 threes in that 71-68 contest a year ago. Destiny Mitchell is the leading scorer with 17.5 points per game.
"They have guards who can play off the bounce and shoot the three," said Caldwell. "Having watched ETSU, they are a team that has gained some momentum and confidence. Playing us the way they did last year and coming into the season, they feel they are capable. Our game plan on Thursday has to make sure that we aren't coming out flat and that we establish our defensive scheme early."
LSU continues to be led by junior forward Theresa Plaisance, who enters Thursday's game as the Southeastern Conference's leading scorer with 18.7 points per contest. Plaisance is first in the league in blocks (3.1 bpg) and she is third in rebounding (9.0 rpg).
Plaisance has produced three consecutive 20-plus point games. Dating back to the Florida International Game on Nov. 25, she has combined for 72 points, 24 rebounds and 15 blocks.
With four 20-point games through the first seven games of the year, the New Orleans native is the first to achieve that feat since Seimone Augustus in 2005.
Plaisance is one of four double-figure scorers for the Lady Tigers. Adrienne Webb is averaging 13.4 points per game followed by Danielle Ballard with 13.1 points per contest.
As a team, LSU is posting 70.1 points per game and shooting 41.0 percent.
LSU is 6-0 all-time against current members of the Atlantic Sun Conference. The only other Atlantic Sun team that the Lady Tigers have faced is Mercer, having defeated them five times. LSU will face another Atlantic Sun team later this month when it heads to Fort Myers, Fla., on Dec. 28 to face Florida Gulf Coast.