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LAFAYETTE – Jaylyn Gordon scored 18 of her game-high 22 points in the second half and the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns used a 26-9 run over the final 6:58 to rally past Appalachian State, 70-66, in a Sun Belt Conference women’s basketball game Thursday at the Cajundome.


Simone Fields and Robbie Brown each scored 12 points for Louisiana (15-6, 7-5 Sun Belt), which overcame a 15-point deficit, surpassed last season’s win total (14-16) and posted its most wins in a season since a 25-9 record in 2006-07.


Appalachian State (10-10, 5-6 Sun Belt), led for nearly 36 minutes in the game, including its biggest lead, 40-25, after a Katie Mallow bucket with 16:03 remaining. The Mountaineers led, 57-44, on Joi Jones’ three-point play with 6:59 left, but the Ragin’ Cajuns defense got into the act forcing eight turnovers down the stretch and limiting App State to 3-for-10 from the floor.


Keke Veal opened an 8-0 run for Louisiana with a layup, before four straight points from Simone Fields and a bucket by Gordon cut the lead to 57-52. A pair of free throws by Mallow with 2:33 remaining gave Appalachian State a 61-54 lead, but the Cajuns would close out the game with a 16-5 run to secure the win.


Brown opened a 13-0 run for Louisiana as her 3-pointer cut the Mountaineer lead to 61-57 with 2:17 remaining. Gordon, a sophomore who notched her sixth 20-point game of the season, added a pair of free throws and sank a jumper with 1:32 left to tie the game at 61-61.


On the ensuing possession, Mallow drove the lane for the Mountaineers, but her 10-foot jumper bounced off the rim. Brown chased down the rebound, threaded a transition pass to Veal, whose three-point play with 51.7 seconds remaining gave Louisiana its first lead since the opening minute of the contest.


Gordon and Veal combined for three free throws to push the Cajuns lead to 67-61 and Brown iced the game with a pair of free throws after App State’s Peggy Brown banked in a 3-pointer that cut the lead to 68-66 with 3.2 seconds left.


Kia Wilridge gave Louisiana an early 2-0 lead with a layup in the opening minute before App State scored six straight points to take the lead. The Mountaineers led 18-6 after a jumper by Mallow with 12:29 remaining in the first half and extended it to 26-12 after a layup by KeKe Cooper at the 7:15 mark.


The Ragin’ Cajuns used an 8-0 run to cut the lead to 26-20 as Gordon scored on a layup, Fields added a pair of buckets and freshman Cienna Rodriguez hit a jumper with 2:30 remaining in the half.


Louisiana finished 25-for-67 (37.3 percent) from the floor, 4-for-23 (17.4 percent) from behind the 3-point line and 16-for-24 (66.7 percent) from the charity stripe. The Ragin’ Cajuns forced 21 turnovers and held a 40-37 advantage on the glass as Fields, Brown and Gordon pulled down a team-high seven rebounds each.


Bria Carter scored 13 points off the bench to lead Appalachian State with Cooper recording a double-double with 11 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. The Mountaineers finished 25-for-57 (43.9 percent) from the floor and 13-for-16 (81.3 percent) from the free throw line.


Louisiana will return to action on Saturday (Feb. 7) when it hosts UT Arlington in a 3:15 p.m. contest at the Cajundome.


– www.RaginCajuns.com –