Nov 22, 2002
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Seimone Augustus took plenty of accolades into her debut for third-ranked Louisiana State, and she didn't disappoint.
The freshman guard scored six of her 27 points in overtime as the Tigers beat Arizona 78-71 in the season-opener for both Friday night.
"She is pretty good. We are going to keep her around," LSU coach Sue Gunter said of Augustus, a former Parade and McDonald's All-American from Capitol High School in Baton Rouge, La.
"She has great composure. I thought she did what she does best. She took shots and knocked them down," Gunter said. "And she only had one turnover. She is going to be a great player."
Augustus, who had 15 first-half points on 7-of-10 shooting, hit a jumper and then a fadeaway shot from the corner to give LSU a 71-69 lead with two minutes remaining in overtime. Then she set up Doneeka Hodges on a two-on-one break to give the Tigers a 73-69 bulge.
Augustus sealed the game with a pair of free throws in the final minute.
She finished 12-of-17 from the field and also grabbed eight rebounds.
"I wanted to come out and have a good game," Augustus said. "I felt very comfortable. There was a lot of pressure coming into Arizona. These are the situations we have to deal with being the number three team in the country."
A jumper by the Wildcats' Dee-Dee Wheeler forced overtime at 65 although a 30-foot shot by LSU's Aiysha Smith at the buzzer bounced off the rim.
Smith wound up with 15 points while Hodges had 12. DeTrina White had 11 rebounds for the Tigers, who led 38-32 at halftime before Arizona rallied to take a 65-61 lead with 5:33 left.
Freshman center Shawntinice Polk had 29 points and 11 rebounds for the Wildcats, making 13 of her 16 field-goal tries.
"Polk was incredible. You probably saw two of the top freshmen in the country," Arizona coach Joan Bonvicini said.
"We played hard. We did everything we could," Polk said. "Even though we didn't get the `W,' it showed we are going to fight."