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Women’s Basketball: ‘Kills’ give Cajuns defense new life against Warhawks

Nick Fontenot, The Advertiser, Jan. 19, 2019

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With coach Garry Brodhead finding it difficult to motivate the Ragin’ Cajuns defense to maintain high intensity, he turned to a coaching buddy who introduced him to “kills.”

“A kill is when you make three stops in a row,” Brodhead said. “If you miss one, you have to start over. We analyzed and watched film and noticed that the number of kills we need to win games is somewhere between six and eight. Our goal was eight tonight, and we got that.”

Brodhead said the kills motivate players to go hard on defense. Against UL Monroe Saturday night, the Cajuns needed every bit of defensive intensity to overcome a less-than-stellar shooting performance and pick up a 52-45 win.

“We were getting out-hustled and outplayed in the first half,” Brodhead said. “I thought in the second half, we came out and got more aggressive and made some adjustments. We met our goal tonight on the kills and we are still learning how to take care of the ball.

"We got a win, and I think what they are learning is that you have to make stops to win.”

The first half saw UL shoot just 28 percent from the field with only three Cajuns able to find the scorer’s sheet. Despite the poor shooting performance, the defense held ULM to just 30 percent and the Cajuns took a 23-21 lead into halftime.

“We missed some shots a long the way — a lot of layups that were important,” Brodhead said. "But we held them to 21 and we did a pretty good job defensively early on. It got better as the game went on and down the stretch, we have to make sure it continues to get better. We have a lot of kids that are getting better at this game. We need them to get more comfortable doing what we need to do to win.”

Ty’Reona Doucet led all Cajuns with 12 points, but her 10 rebounds were a big part of her game that was missing in the last three games.

Doucet said finding herself in foul trouble over the last few games definitely affected her aggressiveness.

“Last few games, I’ve had four fouls,” Doucet said, “so I was crashing (the boards), but I was trying to keep my body off of them. I hadn’t been able to be as aggressive as I want to be.

"Tonight, I went out and played aggressive, but smart. It made a difference, and I think we were more aggressive on defense also. We are taking more pride on our defense.”

Brodhead said his team will continue to embrace good defense and continue to utilize the kills system. In order to have sustainable success in the Sun Belt Conference, Brodhead said, the key will be to get stops.

“My DNA is defense,” he said. “We knew that when we got into conference we would have to make stops to win. Defense is about heart and want to, and we have to find a way to motivate them. The kill system today worked, and we just have to find a way to get excited about it.”