7:00 PM ET, November 15, 2003
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- If LSU coach Sue Gunter had her way, her Lady Tigers would play every game at McArthur Court.Seimone Augustus scored 19 points, and ninth-ranked LSU opened its season Saturday with a 63-56 come-from-behind win over Villanova in the Women's Sports Foundation Classic.The Lady Tigers have won three games at Mac Court in the past eight months, including wins in the first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament last season en route to a final eight appearance."It seems like we've never left," Gunter said. "This place has been good to us."Liad Suez led Villanova (0-1) with 21 points on 10-of-12 shooting.LSU plays Oregon for the tournament championship Sunday. Oregon defeated Valparaiso 60-47 in the second game of the doubleheader.Scholanda Hoston had 13 points and Doneeka Hodges added 11 for the Lady Tigers. Augustus, the national freshman of the year last season, scored 14 points in the second half as LSU erased a 12-point second-half deficit."I wanted to come out and set the tone for my team, and I did that," Augustus said.LSU's Temeka Johnson, held scoreless in the first half, finished with nine points, six assists and a game-high eight rebounds.Villanova's Courtney Mix hit a field goal with 15:40 remaining to give the Wildcats a 38-26 lead.LSU took its first lead of the second half on a three-point play by Hoston with 4:16 to play."We were so anxious that we had to check ourselves and not let them control the tempo," Johnson said.The Lady Tigers hit 12-of-16 free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.Villanova took a 10-2 lead after a 3-pointer by Kelly Nash. The Lady Tigers committed 10 first-half turnovers and trailed at the break 25-20.