Women's Basketball: Cajuns Fall At Toledo In Preseason WNIT Consolation Game
TOLEDO, OHIO – Senior Simone Fields finally got past 1,000 points in her career, but it wasn't enough as the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns women's basketball lost to the Toledo Rockets, 79-55, in the consolation round of the Preseason Women's National Invitation Tournament here at the Fred F. Savage Arena in Toledo, Ohio.
The loss, the Cajuns second straight, drops their record to 1-2, while the Rockets improve to 2-1 halfway through the first month of the season.
Seniors Kendra Howard and Nekia Jones lead the Cajuns in scoring, with 12 points each. While sophomore Kimberly Burton snagged a season-high seven rebounds to lead the Cajuns in that category. Fields finished the game with seven points and five rebounds, scoring five points in the fourth quarter, including hitting the 1,000 points mark 15 seconds into the fourth.
HOW IT HAPPENED (First Quarter): Both teams traded turnovers to start the game, but when the clock passed the nine-minute mark senior Troi Swain put the Cajuns on the board with a basket to tie the score up at 2-2.
At that point, Howard got hot as she went on a run of her own, making three straight baskets starting from the 6:26 mark with her last basket in the run coming at the 5:38 point of the quarter, giving the Cajuns an 8-4 lead.
Toledo than began a run to finish the first quarter, ending the quarter with a five-point lead and the score sitting at 15-10. But the Cajuns defense did cause the Rockets to turn the ball over nine times in the quarter.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Second Quarter): Toledo carried their run into the second quarter, as they started the quarter on a 7-0 run that was eventually ended by senior Nekia Jones' layup at the 6:18 mark in the quarter, making the score 22-14 in favor of Toledo.
When it was over the Rockets had been on a 16-2 run to pull ahead and give themselves a lead they wouldn't give back for the remainder of the game. They extended their lead to 40-25 through the quarter and when halftime hit that's where the score sat with the Cajuns trailing by 15 points.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Third Quarter): The Cajuns came out in the third quarter stronger defensively and they only allowed one Toledo basket for the first seven and half minutes of the quarter.
But the Cajuns couldn't take advantage offensively and they only managed two baskets themselves during the stretch, and that kept them from cutting into the lead.
Louisiana eventually shook off their cold shooting, but at that point so did Toledo, and as the quarter ended the Rockets were on a 11-2 run, but Jones did stop that run from carrying over into the fourth quarter with a three-point shot in the final seconds of the quarter to put the score at 55-37 in favor of the Rockets as the third quarter finished.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Fourth Quarter): Louisiana, not wanting to go away quietly, opened the quarter with a 6-2 run to close the gap to 57-43 with the clock at the 7:07. But those 14 points were the closest that the Cajuns got to the Rockets for the remainder of the game.
Toledo then pulled away for good by going on a 10-2 run to put the score at 67-45 with 3:42 left in the game.
When the final whistle blew, the Cajuns had given it their best fight, but the Rockets were just a bit too much down the stretch and the final score sat at 79-55, with the win for Toledo.
NOTEWORTHY: Freshmen Jomyra Mathis and Mylisha Hammond each scored their first career points and got their first career rebounds in the game, Mathis finished with six points and two rebounds, and she got her first career assist as well, while Hammond finished with one point and two rebounds of her own.
UP NEXT FOR THE CAJUNS: The Cajuns return to the Cajundome on Wednesday, Nov. 22, when they host the Dillard Bleu Devils with tip scheduled for 7 p.m. Louisiana then hits the road again as they head out to Las Vegas, Nev., for the South Point Thanksgiving Shootout where they'll face Niagara on Saturday, Nov. 25, followed by finishing the weekend with a matchup against Cleveland State on Sunday, Nov. 26.
FOLLOW THE CAJUNS: Follow the Cajuns on twitter @RaginCajunsWBB for links to recaps and any updates to the schedule as the Cajuns enter another busy week.