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Women’s Basketball: Cajuns Finish Off Arkansas with Late Comeback Win

Keke Veal


 GUAYNABO, PR – Trailing 55-46 in the fourth quarter against the Arkansas Razorbacks, the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns women’s basketball team rode a 21-4 scoring wave to pick up their second win over an SEC opponent in the last 12 days by a 67-59 final at the San Juan Shootout.

The victories over Ole Miss in the regular season opener and Friday afternoon against Arkansas were the first pair of wins over SEC opponents in the same season in program history.

"We are capable of doing some things on the defensive side with pressure to create steals in order to generate some offense," Ragin’ Cajuns head coach Garry Brodhead said. "I was confident that we could come back. Our defense really came up big with steals that led to layups to help us get back in the game."

Junior guard Jaylyn Gordon scored five points in the first 5:16 of the game, keeping the Cajuns (3-1) to within 11-9 of the Razorbacks.

At the close of the first quarter, the score stood at 17-14 in favor of Arkansas. Gordon paced the Cajuns with five points in the first stanza, while sophomore Simone Fields added four points in the first 10 minutes.

With just over 4 ½ minutes remaining in the second quarter, the Cajuns trailed, 21-19, shooting a respectable 36.8% (7-of-19) from the floor.

Trailing 27-26 with under five seconds remaining in the first half, senior guard Keke Veal knocked down a three-pointer to give the Cajuns a two-point lead going into the intermission. Veal netted a team-high 10 first half points.

In the third quarter, Louisiana maintained that lead up 38-34 with just over 4 ½ minutes on the clock. However, Arkansas stormed back on a 16-8 run to take a 50-46 advantage going into the fourth quarter.

The Razorbacks built a 55-48 lead with less than six minutes to play, but Veal and Wilridge hit back-to-back buckets to make it a one-possession game at 55-52 with 5:37 remaining.

Down by a single point, freshman Jordan Alexander sank the go-ahead jumper to give the Cajuns a 56-55 lead.

On the next possession by Arkansas, Fields came up with a steal and hit Veal in transition who delivered an assist to Wilridge leading to a layup to increase the Louisiana lead by three points.

The Razorbacks were unable to claw any closer than the three-point lead the Cajuns offense rallied to create.

"To me it’s a big win, especially when you can get an SEC win away from home especially two in one season," Brodhead said. "We wanted to come out and play as hard as we could,
which is our forte.

"I was really proud," he added. "We had some kids come off the bench and play hard and knock down some free throws at the end. We want to continue to work towards the conference schedule in January."

The Ragin’ Cajuns are back in action tomorrow to play Sacred Heart at 11:15 a.m. CST to conclude the San Juan Shootout.