Short-handed Lady Tigers finally back home against Auburn _lowres

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- LSU's Alexis Hyder goes up for a shot against Texas A&M's Rachel Mitchel earlier this year. Hyder leads the Lady Tigers with 10.9 points per game.

After a road-weary January, the LSU Lady Tigers return home Monday night to host the Auburn Tigers.

Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. The game will be televised on the SEC Network and can be heard locally on WBRP-FM, 107.3, or in the Geaux Zone at

LSU (8-13, 2-6 Southeastern Conference) played five of its first eight conference games on the road, including four of the past five. The results were fairly predictable for an injury-riddled team, which is coming off a 52-46 loss Thursday at Missouri.

LSU will play five games on the second half of its SEC schedule at home. It will still be a chore for the player-deficient Lady Tigers to fight out of the SEC’s basement — LSU is ahead of only 2-7 Alabama — much less make it five NCAA tournament appearances in five years under coach Nikki Fargas.

Fargas hasn’t had issue with her team’s effort and defense. The sore spot for LSU has been scoring. The Lady Tigers have been unable to crack the 50-point mark in eight of their past 10 games.

A big part of LSU’s scoring struggles have centered around the absence of guard Jenna Deemer. The sophomore from Ursuline Academy has missed the past five games with an unspecified illness, and the Lady Tigers have sorely missed her 10.1 points and team-leading 28 3-pointers.

Deemer was ruled out Saturday for the Auburn game. Forward Ann Jones (ankle) will miss her fourth straight contest as well.

Alexis Hyder, a 5-foot-11 junior forward, leads the Lady Tigers with 10.9 points per game after a season-high 23 points at Mizzou. Hyder is ninth in the SEC with 7.6 rebounds per contest.

Auburn is 13-8 and 3-5 in SEC play but is coming off a crushing 63-30 rout Thursday at Georgia, a team LSU beat 53-46 on the road on Jan. 24. Auburn is 0-4 in SEC road games this season.

The Tigers still possess one of the SEC’s better scoring and rebounding tandems in Brandy Montgomery and Tra’Cee Tanner. Montgomery, a 5-10 junior guard, is seventh in the SEC with 15.8 points per game. Tanner, a 6-3 senior post player, is sixth in conference with 8.0 rebounds per game.

LSU has won six straight in the series, including a 60-49 win at Auburn last season and a 71-60 win in the PMAC in 2014.

The first 500 fans through the turnstiles Monday will receive an LSU flag. LSU students will earn priority points toward 2016 football tickets, and the first 250 students in attendance will receive free pizza and refreshments.

LSU is home again Thursday against No. 13 Mississippi State.

Follow Scott Rabalais on Twitter, @RabalaisAdv.