Women's Basketball: Fields, Thomas Power Cajuns To 15 Point Win Over GSU
Louisiana recorded 18 assists to win their second straight SBC road game.
ATLANTA – 22 points and six rebounds from senior Simone Fields along with another packed stat sheet from sophomore Jasmine Thomas gave the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns women's basketball team their second straight Sun Belt Conference win on the road as they beat the Georgia State Panthers, 75-60 at the GSU Sports Arena.
Thomas finished with 15 points, a career high nine assists and she added four rebounds as the Cajuns improved to 12-11 (7-4 SBC). As for Georgia State they lost their fifth straight game and their record drops to 5-18 (1-11 SBC).
Freshman Ty'Reonne Doucet had great stretches throughout the game, and she finished with 12 points, eight rebounds and three steals. Freshman Skyler Goodwin added 12 points and three assists to the mix. As a team the Cajuns finished with a season high 18 assists and for the second straight game they shot at least 50 percent from the field.
HOW IT HAPPENED (First Quarter): Georgia State quickly came out and scored the first five points of the game, but the Cajuns answered back with a quick 7-2 run, powered by a three-point basket from Thomas and with that the Cajuns were off and running. Things went back-and-forth through the quarter, but the Cajuns were helped out by a period from Fields.
The Cajuns senior had herself a quarter putting in six points, all coming in a solid minute long stretch starting at 3:00 minutes and carrying on until the second minute mark of the quarter. A Georgia State jumper at the one-minute mark tied things up at 17-17. But Goodwin hit a jump shot with under three seconds left in the quarter. And with that basket from Goodwin the Cajuns took a two-point lead into the second quarter with the score sitting at 17-15.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Second Quarter): Louisiana began the quarter going 6 for 8 from the field as they began to pour it on the Panthers. The run was kicked off by back-to-back baskets from Doucet, and she got that second basket off of a steal that she created.
Fields again was big in the quarter, as she took over right after Doucet started it off. Fields hit three straight baskets, going on her own 6-3 run to push the score to 27-20 in favor of the Cajuns. It was there that Louisiana put the distance they would need for the remainder of the game between themselves and Georgia State. Starting with senior Nekia Jones' three pointer at 6:30, the Cajuns went on a tear from beyond the arc. They nailed five straight threes, with Jones hitting the first two, Goodwin hitting two after that and Thomas finishing off the run with a three-point basket of her own.
When that run was finished, the Cajuns held an 18-point lead over the Panthers, and it gave them the most points they've scored in the first half all season long. Georgia State would hit one more basket before the break, but the Cajuns led the Panthers, 46-30 heading into the half.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Third Quarter): Georgia State came out of the locker room looking to cut into the Cajuns lead. But through the first few minutes the Cajuns pushed their lead to 16 points, with a basket from Thomas and Fields. When the clock hit 6:31 Georgia State began their assault on the Cajuns lead, it started with two free throws and was fueled by back-to-back three-point baskets to drop Louisiana's lead below double digits for the first time since the first five minutes of the second quarter.
But Louisiana answered the Panthers charge with their defense fueling their offense as they caused six straight Georgia State turnovers that lead to a 6-0 run for the Cajuns, with Fields scoring four of the six points as they pushed their lead back over 10 points. Both teams traded baskets down the stretch, with Louisiana keeping their double-digit lead and they finished the quarter leading the Panthers 58-47 having caused eight Panthers turnovers in the period.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Fourth Quarter): Louisiana came out and pushed their lead to 13 points thanks to a basket from Doucet, but again Georgia State pushed the envelope. They answered each basket by the Cajuns, and two free throws at the 4:47 mark cut the Cajuns lead to 10 points with the score sitting at 64-54. Doucet, sensing the Cajuns needed a boost, kicked off a game clinching 7-0 run. She nailed back-to-back baskets over a 40 second stretch and Thomas added a layup and a free throw as Louisiana again extended their lead past 15 points.
As the final two minutes ticked down, two free throws from Thomas and a basket from Fields meant that the Cajuns held a 18 point lead with just over a minute to go in the game. A three-pointer from Georgia State under 30 seconds put Louisiana's lead at 15 points. But that basket was too little, too late and the final whistle blew on the Cajuns 75-60 win.
NOTEWORTHY: Thomas had seven of her nine assists in the first half; Thomas is the first Louisiana player to finish with over eight assists in a game since Jaylyn Gordon had nine assists vs. Troy on Feb. 11, 2017; Fields passed Alyson Habetz to move into ninth on the All-Time Cajuns Scoring list and she now has 1,198 career points.
It's the second time this season the Cajuns have had at least four players finish in double-digit scoring; Louisiana has now recorded 35 assists over the past two games; The Cajuns now have 28 assists over the past two games; It's the second straight game and third conference game of the season, that the Cajuns have scored at least 75 points.
UP NEXT FOR THE CAJUNS: The Cajuns continue their Georgia swing with a visit to Statesboro, Ga., on Saturday, Feb. 10, take on the Georgia Southern Eagles with that tip scheduled for 1 p.m. CST.
FOLLOWING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS: Follow the Cajuns on twitter @RaginCajunsWBB for updates during the game, links to live stats, streams and the recap following the game.