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Women’s Basketball: Ragin’ Cajuns Hold Off Sacred Heart in 60-58 OT Win

Brooklyn Arceneaux


Cajuns defense limited Pioneers to 22 points in third and fourth quarters, scored 13 points in OT to end San Juan Shootout with two victories


 GUAYNABO, PR – Facing a second half deficit for the second straight game, the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns persevered to a 60-58 win in overtime against the Sacred Heart Pioneers from Mario Morales Coliseum at the San Juan Shootout Saturday afternoon.

The Cajuns (4-1) were held to just 16 points in the second and third quarters, but outscored Sacred Heart 28-20 in the fourth quarter and overtime to pick up their fourth win in the first five games of the 2015-16 season.

I think the second half we started to pressure them defensively," Ragin’ Cajuns head coach Garry Brodhead said. "We created turnovers which led to some of our offense late in the game. We got other people involved with every player scoring in the game. Brooklyn [Arceneaux] took a number of charges on the defensive side and pulled down rebounds. Also, for us to go 4-of-4 from the free throw line in overtime was big."

The first quarter was a back-and-forth contest that saw four ties. After Sacred Heart splashed a three to even the game at 13-13 with 2:59 to play in the stanza, senior guard Keke Veal answered with a trey of her own with 1:08 left to give the Cajuns a three-point lead going into the second quarter.

Sacred Heart opened the second quarter with four straight points to gain a 17-16 edge, but again the Cajuns responded quickly with a three-pointer, this time from senior Kia Wilridge.

Louisiana maintained its lead until 3:19 left in the first half when Alissa Tarsi finished a three-point play after drawing a foul from Wilridge to tie the contest at 21 apiece.

The Pioneers took a 25-23 lead into halftime courtesy of Adaysha Williams, who scored on a layup with five seconds remaining.

The Cajuns struggled to generate offense in the third quarter, scoring just nine points to find themselves in a 38-32 hole.

Trailing 40-36 with 9:02 left in the fourth, Veal (four points) and Wilridge (two points) hit three straight jump shots to put the Cajuns ahead, 42-40 with 7:56 to go.

Leading 45-44, senior Brooklyn Arceneaux knocked down a jumper with 2:46 on the clock to give Louisiana a three-point lead. The Pioneers came back with a three of their own with 1:08 left to tie the game at 47-47 and force overtime.

In the extra session, the Cajuns allowed the first bucket, but took a 52-49 lead with a jumper from senior Adrienne Prejean and a trey from junior Jaylyn Gordon.

The Pioneers went ahead, 53-52 with a pair of free throws at the 3:16 mark, but the Cajuns came back with four straight points (Jordan Alexander free throws, Arceneaux jumper) to take a 56-53 advantage.

Back-to-back layups by Sacred Heart pulled the Pioneers in front, 57-56 with 1:30 to go.

Arceneaux came back to score the game-winning layup on the ensuing possession, while sophomore Jodi Quinn hit a pair of free throws with 15 seconds left to preserve the victory.

"I think this win was a complete team effort," Brodhead said. "I thought we played a lot better as a team in the second half.

"We came over here to build on our team effort and team unity and I think we did a lot to accomplish that," he added. "We got a lot of rebounds from the low post today as well. It is still a work in progress but our kids are continuing to work, grow and buy into our system."

The Cajuns netted 20 points off 28 Sacred Heart turnovers. The second unit added 19 points towards the winning effort. All nine Cajuns that played scored in the game.

Arceneaux missed a double-double by one rebound, finishing with 11 points and nine boards. Veal added a team-high 13 points to extend her double-digt points streak to 19 games. Wilridge added four assists to go with nine points.

The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns will travel to ULM next Thursday, December 3 for the season’s first conference game. Tip-off is set for a 5 p.m.

Season tickets for the 2015-16 campaign are available by calling the Cajundome ticket office at (337) 265-2100, or by emailing Director of Tickets, Matt Casbon at mcasbon@cajundome.com.

For more information on the Louisiana women’s basketball program, fans can Like their Facebook page (/RaginCajunsWBB) or follow the team on Twitter (@RaginCajunsWBB).