Over the last 17 seasons, the LSU women’s basketball team has established the Pete Maravich Assembly Center as one of the toughest road playing sites in not only the Southeastern Conference but the nation.
Since the 1996-97 season, the Lady Tigers have posted a remarkable home record of 240-41 (.854), an average of 14 victories per year.
Dating back to the 2002-03 season when LSU appeared in the NCAA Elite 8 followed by five consecutive NCAA Final Fours, LSU is an impressive 156-31 (.834) inside the friendly confines of the Maravich Center.
LSU has proven to be tough to beat in SEC play in the venue. In conference games, the Lady Tigers are 98-26 (.790) at home over the past 17 years and an astounding 70-19 (.787) over the past 12 seasons.
LSU has secured a 48-21 mark at home versus Top 25 foes over the last 17 years. The Lady Tigers have knocked off a Top 10 opponent (#8 Penn State • 03/26/13 and #7 West Virginia • 03/25/14) during each of the last two seasons to punch their ticket to the NCAA Sweet 16 which enables the PMAC to back up its claim as one of the nation’s most-feared road sites.
In Nikki Caldwell’s first season as head coach in 2011-12, LSU increased attendance by over 1,000 more fans than the previous season. Caldwell guided the Lady Tigers to their best home record since the 2008 Final Four season with a 13-4 mark sparked by a flawless 4-0 record against ranked teams during the regular season.
Caldwell’s squad followed that up with a 15-3 record in 2012-13 and a 12-4 mark during the 2013-14 season. In three seasons, Caldwell has fueled the Lady Tigers to a 40-11 (.784) mark inside the Maravich Center.
In addition to their success on the court, the Lady Tigers have also played before record crowds.
Over the past 12 seasons, LSU has established 14 of the top 15 crowds in PMAC history, including a record crowd of 15,233 against Tennessee on Feb. 10, 2005. During that span the Lady Tigers have played in front of 10 home crowds of over 10,000 fans.
LSU finished the 2005-06 season ranked 14th in the nation in average home attendance with 6,273 and played in front of five crowds of at least 8,000 people.
In 2004-05, LSU finished 10th in the nation in average home attendance with 7,317 fans per game, by far a record for the Lady Tigers. During that season four crowds of over 10,000 were recorded for games, including the record crowd of 15,233 against Tennessee. LSU ranked third in the SEC and among the top 15 in attendance nationally in 2011-12, averaging 4,315 fans per game and 73,348 total.
LSU rarely gets upset on its home floor. The Lady Tigers are 184-17 (.915) over the last 17 years against unranked teams.
LSU has put together undefeated records at home over non-ranked opponents in 2007-08 (11-0), 2006-07 (11-0), 2005-06 (10-0), 2004-05 (10-0), 2002-03 (8-0), 2001-02 (11-0), 1999-00 (17-0), 1998-99 (11-0) and 1996-97 (11-0).
During the 1999-2000 campaign, the Lady Tigers set a school-record with 17 home victories with their only loss coming at the hands of second-ranked Tennessee.
In 39 years of history at the PMAC, LSU’s home court advantage can be compared with the best programs from across the country as the Lady Tigers have close to 80 percent of their homes games with a 430-115 overall mark. LSU claimed its 400th all-time Maravich Center victory in Caldwell’s first season with a 53-49 victory over Mississippi State on Feb. 9, 2012. LSU has also put together winning streaks of 43, 26, 24 and 22 games at home. The Lady Tigers also have gone undefeated at home four times: 15-0 in 2005-06, 12-0 in 2004-05, and 14-0 in both 1977-78 and 1985-86.
Built in 1971, the PMAC underwent completed renovations prior to the 2005-06 season that included an updated concourse with new concessions, new seats and a new sound system. The concourse features interactive kiosks and displays recognizing the history of LSU basketball, including one exhibit of the late Hall of Fame head coach Sue Gunter. It also houses the plaques of all members of the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame. The capacity is 13,215 following the renovations.
During the summer of 1988, Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer signed legislation changing the official name of the building to the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in honor of the LSU star who had died tragically earlier that same year.
In addition to the normal basketball-seating configuration, a proscenium stage can be lowered into place at the north end allowing some 4,000 seats for theatrical productions. An additional 1,000 seats can be placed on the floor for graduations, convocations, lectures, concerts or other special events.
The Maravich Center has played host to several famous musical artists over the years, including KISS, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Def Leppard, Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, Garth Brooks and Jimmy Buffett.
Also located in the building is an auxiliary practice gym used for basketball and volleyball practices; home and visitor dressing rooms; coaches dressing rooms, building administration offices; theater dressing rooms; Tiger Athletic Foundation offices; and the “L” Club meeting room with kitchen facilities.
In the summer of 2010, LSU’s state-of-the-art basketball practice facility was officially completed and is connected to the PMAC through the Northwest portal. The facility gives both men’s and women’s teams ample practice room adjacent to their actual game playing floor of the Maravich Center.
The Maravich Center has been the site for both men’s and women’s NCAA Regional Tournaments, the 1981 SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament, the 1988 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament and two SEC Volleyball Tournaments. Since the current NCAA Tournament format began, LSU has played host to the NCAA women’s first and second rounds six times since 2004, doing so in 2004, ’08, ’09, ‘12, ‘13 and most recently in 2014. LSU owns a 18-3 record in NCAA Tournament games played in the Maravich Center, including a 8-0 mark in first round contests.