Women's Basketball: Cajuns Top UNO In First Round Of The Preseason WNIT - Texas A& M next on Sunday
Athletic Network footnote by Dr. Ed Dugas. HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN SUNDAY'S GAME: Sunday's game in College Station will be televeised on the SEC Network with Mike Wright (play-by-play) and Tap Bentz (color) on the call. The game can be watched on the WatchESPN App.
Locally ESPN 1420 AM will cover the game with Steve Peloquin handling the duties on the mike and that can be accessed both on the radio and online at www.espn1420.com. Live stats will be provided as well via the Texas A&M athletic department.
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LAFAYETTE – Lead by 18 points and nine rebounds from senior Simone Fields, and a stifling Cajuns defense, the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns beat the University of New Orleans Privateers, 66-57, in the first round of the Preseason Women's National Invitation Tournament here at the Cajundome on Friday night.
The win, the first Preseason WNIT win in school history, means the Cajuns head to College Station, Texas to take on Texas A&M on Sunday, Nov. 12 at 2:00 p.m. in the second round of the Preseason WNIT. This is only the second time the Cajuns have ever taken part in the Preseason WNIT in school history.
Redshirt freshman Danyale Bayonne, playing her first game at the Cajundome, scored 11 points and added four rebounds and three assists, while the Cajuns defense held UNO to 39 percent shooting from the field and 11 percent shooting from beyond the three-point line.
HOW IT HAPPENED (First Quarter): UNO came out and scored the first points of the game, putting the score at 2-0 within the first minute of the game, but Louisiana's defense was not phased as they didn't let the Privateers get an easy basket in their next two possessions and the Cajuns tied the score at 2-2 when the clock hit the seven-minute mark.
Both teams began to trade baskets as the first quarter became a back and forth affair with both teams playing tough defense and crashing the boards. UNO attempted to pull away after going up by three with 2:47 left in the quarter, but a big three point shot from freshman Skyler Goodwin stopped that run in its track tying the score at 9-9.
As the quarter ended, Louisiana was trailing by a point but they took the final possession and with 22 seconds left drove down the floor looking for the final shot. Goodwin got that shot and as the buzzer rang she nailed a jumper to give the Cajuns a 14-13 lead after the end of the first quarter.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Second Quarter): Senior Nekia Jones came out on fire, nailing a three then showing her moves. She crossed over a UNO defender that sent the Privateer sliding on the ground. Jones then kicked it to Goodwin who nailed a three to give the Cajuns a 19-13 lead.
That basket ignited the Cajuns as they opened the second quarter on a 11-0 run to stretch their lead to 24-13 when the clock hit 7:33. Jones scored five of those 11 points providing great energy to the Cajuns off the bench.
Although UNO attempted to chip away at the lead, any time the Privateers got near the Cajuns pulled away yet again. Fields was big on the glass at the 4:20 mark when she grabbed a board, and stayed with the play hitting a layup to give the Cajuns a 31-18 lead.
With the Cajuns, up 36-20 as the half came to an end, the defense yet again showed up as Louisiana kept UNO off the board for the final two minutes of the game. Jones took and missed a three pointer but she stayed with the play, as she stole the ball right back from the rebounding Privateer which turned into a foul on UNO.
Bayonne wrapped up the half with two free throws that put the score at 38-20, with the Cajuns in the lead. When it was over the Cajuns had outscored the Privateers 24-7 in the second quarter to put themselves ahead for good.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Third Quarter): UNO came out and hit the first two baskets to cut the Cajuns lead to 38-25, but two free throws from Fields followed by a lay-up from the senior put the Cajuns up by 17 when the six-minute mark of the quarter hit.
UNO attempted to get back in the game, but Swain was there to answer every basket the Privateers had when at the 3:36 mark it became an up and down game for the next minute and half.
In that stretch, Swain nailed a three-pointer and a jump shot, and even after a UNO basket the Cajuns still had a 15-point lead, 49-34, as the back-and-forth stretch came to an end.
The quarter came to an end with Louisiana sitting comfortably ahead of UNO by 14 points, 51-37.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Fourth Quarter): Fields once again lead the Cajuns into the quarter nailing the first basket of the fourth, putting the Cajuns up by 16. But a UNO basket began a run for the Privateers that began to chip away at the Cajuns lead.
From the 8:13 mark until 4:57, Louisiana didn't score a basket from the field, only getting two points on a pair of Swain free throws. UNO had knocked down the lead to 10 points, 57-47, at the 6-minute mark, but senior Kendra Howard, playing in her first game for the Cajuns, nailed a jumper to stretch the Cajuns lead to 12 as the clock moved under five minutes.
Two baskets from Fields down the stretch gave the Cajuns a 13-point lead, and it was enough to hold off any late charges that UNO might have attempted to put together. As the final buzzer rang the Cajuns were on their way to the WNIT second round with a 66-57 win.
ONTO ROUND TWO: Louisiana now moves onto the second round of the Preseason WNIT where they'll face off against Texas A&M in College Station on Sunday Nov. 12, with tip scheduled for 2 p.m.
It's the first time the Cajuns have faced off against the Aggies since playing Texas A&M on Feb. 10, 1977. And it's the first trip to College Station that Louisiana has ever made, as the Aggies hold a 2-0 record all-time over Louisiana with both games being played at a neutral site.
NOTEWORTHY: Fields finished with 18 points, on 8-14 shooting, bringing her 10 points away from 1,000 career points; Goodwin finished 5-9 from the field and was a strong 3-4 from three-point range; Howard, Bayonne, Goodwin and freshman Ty'Reonne Doucet all made their Cajundome regular season debuts; head coach Garry Brodhead moved one closer to 100 wins with his 93rd career win putting him seven away from the mark.
Louisiana had 13 assists on the game which is the most the Cajuns have recorded in a game since recording 15 against Texas State on Mar. 9, 2017; UNO only shot 39 percent from the field and they were held to 11 percent from three-point range, while the Cajun finished shooting 46 percent and were 44 percent from three-point range; Louisiana out rebounded UNO 34-28 and the Cajuns had 24 defensive rebounds to UNO's 18.
HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN TO THE SECOND ROUND: Sunday's game will be televised on the SEC Network and it's available to watch through the WatchESPN App. Locally ESPN 1420 will broadcast the game with Steve Peloquin on the call. Texas A&M will have live stats available through their website as well and you can follow the game @RaginCajunsWBB on twitter.