2012-13 LSU Women's Basketball Media Guide

Page 150

AIAW Runner-Up


Back Row - Yvette Bourgeois, Diana Welch, Maree Bennie, Julie Gross, Thelma McCoy, Annette Guillotte, Coach Jinks Coleman Front Row - Kathy Moffett,  Elaine Smith, Susie Simmons, LeNette Caldwell, Brenda McGuffee, Nancy French, Julie Jones

1976-77 The Only Lady Tigers to Reach the National Championship Game of a Postseason Tournament With one of the most dominating forward-center combinations in LSU women’s basketball history in Australians Julie Gross and Maree Jackson, the Lady Tigers enjoyed one of their finest seasons in 1976-77. The Lady Tigers, behind the play of Gross and Jackson, started the season off slow, but ended its regular-season with a 21-5 mark. The Lady Tigers then headed to the AIAW State Tournament in Ruston. LSU easily handled New Orleans in the first round, winning 85-58, followed by a 73-51 victory over Southern. Louisiana Tech stopped LSU in the semifinals as the Techsters posted a 101-88 win over LSU. The Lady Tigers then fell to Northwestern State, 87-82, but the Lady Tigers still managed to finish in second place at the state tournament. By virtue of its second place finish at the state tournament, LSU advanced to the AIAW Regional Tournament in Monroe. At the regional tournament, the Lady Tigers got on a roll as they whipped Texas, 95-67, in the first round followed by a 76-73 win over a Sue Guntercoached Stephen F. Austin team in the semifinals. LSU beat Baylor, 92-76, in the championship game to advance to the AIAW National Tournament in Minneapolis, Minn. At the AIAW National Tournament, the Lady Tigers drew Western Washington in the first round and had little trouble as the Lady Tigers, behind 40 points from Maree Jackson, raced out to 49-26 halftime lead and never looked back in their 91-53 win. Next up for the Lady Tigers was Baylor, a team that LSU had already beat twice during the season, which included a victory

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Maree Jackson

over the Bears in the regional finals. LSU was once again victorious over Baylor as the Lady Tigers got 35 points and 26 rebounds from Maree Jackson advanced with a 71-64 win. The Lady Tigers then moved into the semifinal round against Immaculata, a powerhouse in women’s basketball at the time. Immaculata was ranked No. 2 in the nation and was considered a huge favorite in

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the contest with the Lady Tigers. The Lady Tigers upset Immaculata, 74-68, despite the fact that Jackson played after having root canal surgery and Brenda McGuffie played with a severely sprained ankle. In addition, Jackson and McGuffie played the final 10 minutes of the contest with four fouls. Jackson finished with 29 points and 19 rebounds, while Gross had 23 points and 11 boards. It was on to the national championship game for LSU as the 11th-ranked Lady Tigers would face topranked Delta State for the title. Delta State scored the first six points of the contest and the Delta Devils quickly built a nine point advantage, 13-4, on a jumper by Debbie Brock at the 15:14 mark. LSU could get no closer than seven points the rest of the way as Lady Tiger All-American Jackson picked up her third foul with 5:54 to play in the first half. Delta State led 34-25 at intermission. In the second half, Delta State never let the Lady Tigers back in the contest as the Delta Devils held Jackson to a career-low six points in posting a 68-55 victory. Lucy Harris, the best women’s player in the country at the time, led Delta State with 23 points and 16 rebounds. The Lady Tigers finished the year with an overall record of 29-8 and ranked No. 11 in the nation. That team still holds the distinction of being the only Lady Tiger team ever to reach the national championship game of a post-season tournament.