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Women's Basketball: Cajuns Done In By Cleveland State's Fourth Quarter Run
LAS VEGAS – The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns women's basketball team was done in by a late run from the Cleveland State Vikings losing, 54-45, in their second and final game at the South Point Thanksgiving Shootout here at the South Point Arena.
Louisiana finishes their weekend in Las Vegas with a 1-1 record, and it puts their record at 2-4 on the season while Cleveland State split their games in Las Vegas as well, and their record now sits at 3-2.
Sophomore Kimberly Burton had a great game for the Cajuns, nearly getting a double-double as she finished with 10 points and eight rebounds. While sophomore Malachi-Seraphin Williams lead the Cajuns in scoring getting 15 points on 5 for 9 shooting. Seraphin-Williams was 2 for 4 from beyond the arc as well to help her get to 15 points.
Defensively the Cajuns were strong again as for the second time this weekend they held their opponent to under 40 percent shooting, today they kept the Vikings at 37 percent on 20 for 54 shooting and they out rebounded the Vikings as well (40-36) but Louisiana shot 31 percent from the field, meaning they couldn't capitalize on their solid defense.
HOW IT HAPPENED (First Quarter): Cleveland State came out and couldn't miss in the first six minutes of the game. The Vikings started the game on a 10-0 run shooting 44 percent, their run was ended by a Seraphin-Williams three-pointer which were the Cajuns first points of the game but halfway through the quarter it was 10-3 Vikings.
Sparked by that Seraphin-Williams three-pointer the Cajuns went on a 12-2 run that was fueled by two big threes from senior Nekia Jones and freshman Skyler Goodwin and a big charge from senior Simone Fields in the middle of the run to help the Cajuns draw back even with the Vikings putting the score at 12-12 when the quarter came to an end.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Second Quarter): The Vikings came out again and out shot the Cajuns, ending their 12-2 run from the first quarter, making the first two baskets to go up 17-14. But a three-point shot from Howard tied it up at 17-17 in the first two minutes of the quarter.
After going up 25-19 at the 3:58 point of the quarter, a great offensive possession from the Cajuns lead to redshirt freshman Danyale Bayonne getting the ball on the baseline to the left of the basket, she was immediately trapped but she faded away over two defenders to answer the Vikings putting the score at 25-23.
Louisiana held the Viking to 38 percent shooting, 12 for 32 from the field, in the half but the Vikings did snag one more rebound then the Cajuns ending the half with a 21-20 advantage on the boards. But the Vikings finished half with a five-point lead with the score sitting at 29-24 as the teams headed to the locker room.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Third Quarter): Louisiana got off to a running start in the second half with a steal and a transition layup from Goodwin that pulled the Cajuns within three points with the score sitting at 29-26.
A three-pointer from Seraphin-Williams followed by Burton getting fouled on her made jump shot gave the Cajuns their first lead of the game and after Burton converted the and one play it was 32-29 Cajuns at the 5:22 point of the quarter.
Cleveland State took a five-point lead later in the quarter but Seraphin-Williams gave the Cajuns a strong finish to the quarter when she followed up her own missed shot with a rebound that lead to her getting fouled. She converted both free throws to put the score at 37-35 in favor of the Vikings as the quarter ended.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Fourth Quarter): The Cajuns tied the game in the first 30 seconds of the quarter with a Seraphin-Williams layup that put the score at 37-37.
Both teams traded the lead as the quarter passed the halfway point, but Cleveland State took the lead, 44-41, on a layup just past the five-minute mark. That's a lead the Vikings wouldn't give back as the closest the Cajuns would get after that was one point at the 2:51 mark. After Goodwin's basket brought the Cajuns within one point, the Vikings went on a 10-2 run, making 6 of 7 free throw attempts, to finish the Cajuns off and come away with the victory, 54-45.
NOTEWORTHY: Seraphin-Williams' 15 points ties a career high, set at Georgia Southern on Feb. 2, 2017; Goodwin, back form injury, had a good weekend as she came off the bench to score 20 points on 6 for 18 shooting and she snagged nine rebounds in the two games.
For the third straight game, and second time in the weekend, the Cajuns out rebounded their opponents; Louisiana's bench again outscored their opponents, this time it was 18-3;
NEXT UP FOR THE RAGIN' CAJUNS: The Cajuns have a quick turnaround as almost immediately they'll head to Jackson, Miss. to take on the national runners-up No. 7 Mississippi Bulldogs on Nov. 29 with tip scheduled for 7 p.m. The game will be carried on ESPN 1420 with Steve Peloquin on the call as the Cajuns look to score the big upset in Jackson.
FOLLOWING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS: Follow the Cajuns on twitter @RaginCajunsWBB for links to live streams, live stats and any stories involving the Ragin' Cajuins.
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