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Women's Basketball: Cajuns display poise in getting SBC win + Recognition Student Athletes

Kevin Foote, The Advertiser, March 1, 2018

Inch by inch, forced turnover by forced turnover, the UL Ragin’ Cajuns women’s basketball team moves a little closer to getting where head coach Garry Brodhead wants it.

On Thursday in the Cajundome, the Cajuns transformed 25 turnovers into 28 points and that was the big difference in a 60-53 win over Arkansas State.

More: Freshman duo bring life back to Cajun women

“We did some hedging and trapping and that bothered them a little bit,” Brodhead said. “I thought we did a great job (defensively) in the first half.”

The bottom line is the Cajuns stayed over the .500 mark at 15-14 overall and 10-7 in Sun Belt play.

The good news in Thursday’s win is the Cajuns’ defense was sound.

“We knew we had to keep them out of the middle and close out on their shooters,” said sophomore forward Kim Burton, who finished with eight points and four rebounds. “We also made them go baseline.”

Indeed, the principles were followed on the defensive end.

More: Cajun women rebound with road win

But with just one game left in the regular season — against league leader Little Rock at 4 p.m. Saturday — there’s still a lot of progress to be made offensively.

Progress was made Thursday in that area by being more aggressive.

“We shot 30 free throws, and that means we were attacking,” Burton said.

Yes, the Cajuns made 22 of 30 tries at the line, led by freshman Skyler Goodwin. She hit 8 of 10 tries at the line to finish with a team-high 12 points, along with four rebounds.
Meanwhile, senior Simone Fields came off the bench to provide 10 points in 25 minutes of play.

More: Swain striving to finish out senior year in style

“We did attack, but we also need to slow it down some,” Fields said. “At times, we tend to rush a lot.”

A big reason for that is three freshmen are playing significant minutes — Goodwin, Jomyra Mathis and Ty’Reonne Doucet.

“Simone is right; at times we play a little too fast with the ball,” Brodhead said.

“Jomyra is coming into her own. She’s a great jump shooter, so we’ve been able to add that to our offense. She started the game with two turnovers, but then she settled down. She’s a smart kid.”

Brodhead, though, was pleased with how his young lineup handled Arkansas State’s defensive strategy of overplaying the pass.

“Our word for this game was ‘poise’ and I thought we showed a lot of poise,” Brodhead said.

It was a game where the Cajuns led almost for the duration, but the Red Wolves were always within striking distance. UL’s largest lead was 10, meaning most of the Cajuns’ 38-plus minutes of leading was by single digits.

“You always want to win, but the main thing you want is to improve,” Brodhead said. “As long as you learn from losing, I’m OK with it.”

In other words, Brodhead’s goal is to be clicking for the Sun Belt Tournament.

One more game to get there.

Athletic Network Footnote by Dr. Ed Dugas.
Click here for the Cajuns vs. Arkansas State Photo Gallery.

 



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