LAFAYETTE – In what was a strong defensive effort, led by freshman guard Brandi Williams tying a career-high with 25 points, Louisiana Women's Basketball (4-11, 2-2 SBC) won its second straight Sun Belt Conference game, taking down the Georgia Southern Eagles (5-10, 0-4 SBC), 59-48, Saturday afternoon at the CAJUNDOME to finish the weekend 2-0 in conference play.
Williams, who scored 10 points first quarter, tied a career-high with a game-high 25 points on 8-for-14 shooting from the field to lead Louisiana offensively, while freshman guard Andrea Cournoyer scored 14 points to give Louisiana two scorers in double-figures. On the glass, sophomore center Ty'Reona Docuet grabbed a team-high seven rebounds, while sophomore guard Skyler Goodwin snagged five boards of her own.
Defensively, Louisiana held Georgia Southern to 48 points, the lowest point total that Louisiana has given up so far this season, and that was powered by the Ragin' Cajuns' perimeter defense which held the Eagles to 23 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Louisiana also had 25 points off turnovers, which was a big part of Louisiana's strong defensive effort in the game.
HOW IT HAPPENED (First Half): For the second-straight game Louisiana came out on fire and started the game on a 6-0 run powered back-to-back three-point baskets from Williams within the first minute and a half. But Georgia Southern responded with a handful of baskets of its own and when Alexis Brown hit a layup with 6:18 to go in the quarter, the score was tied at 10-10.
A late push over the final five minutes of the quarter gave Georgia Southern a two-point lead heading into the second quarter. A layup from Williams with 42 seconds left, pulled Louisiana within those two points and when the quarter came to an end, the score sat at 18-16.
Louisiana tied the game twice over the first three minutes of the game, but a three-point basket from freshman forward Jazmyn Womack at the 5:19 mark of the quarter, put Louisiana in-front for good, with the score sitting at 24-21. Womack's three-pointer was right at the start of a 10-0 run by Louisiana, which was started by Cournoyer's own three-point less than a minute prior, that pushed Louisiana's lead to the brink of double-digits.
Another three-point basket from Womack with two minutes left gave Louisiana a 33-24 lead heading into the final minutes of the half. A quick four points by Georgia Southern's Alisha Owens kept Louisiana from taking a 10-point lead into the break and the score sat at 34-28 in Louisiana's favor.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Second Half): The third quarter saw both teams struggle from the floor, and Georgia Southern twice tied the game, but never did take the lead. At 5:22 Hailey Dias-Allen hit a layup to tie things up at 38-38, but Louisiana's defense locked down the next four minutes, not allowing the Eagles to score another basket until the 1:03 mark.
But Louisiana could not take full advantage of its strong defensive effort over the middle portion of the quarter, but Williams made sure that Louisiana maintained its lead into the final quarter, scoring five of Louisiana's final seven points to give Louisiana a 44-40 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Williams hit the ground running to start the fourth quarter, and she hit a jumper just two minutes into the quarter to push the score to 46-40, and over the next four minutes both teams traded baskets and with 4:21 left in the game Louisiana led 49-44. But the Ragin' Cajuns were ready to wrap up the win, and a familiar face in Williams kick started a quick 4-0 run with a basket at 2:06, which was followed shortly by Cournoyer's own layup with 1:06 left in the game and it gave Louisiana a 53-44 lead.
The Ragin' Cajuns then iced the game at the line, with Williams going 4-for-4 and Goodwin adding two of her own, giving Louisiana a perfect 6-for-6 45-second stretch at the line to finish off the game. And with a pair of free throws from Goodwin with 31 seconds left, locked up Louisiana's second-straight conference win with the final score sitting at 59-48.
GAME NOTES: Williams tied a career-high with 25 points, first set at Arkansas State on Jan. 3, 2019; Louisiana had 25 points off of turnovers, the most in conference play so far this season and the most in conference play since scoring 28 against Arkansas State on Mar. 1, 2018; For the second-time in the last three meetings Louisiana has held Georgia Southern to exactly 48 points.
Louisiana held Georgia Southern to 23 percent shooting from beyond the arc which is the lowest three-point shooting percentage that Louisiana has allowed (min. 20 attempts) since the season opener against Lamar on Nov. 6, 2018; The 23 percent defensive three-point shooting percentage is the lowest number Louisiana has held a conference opponent to, with a minimum of 20 attempts, since Texas State shot 22 percent (6-for-27) on Jan. 20, 2018.
UP NEXT FOR THE CAJUNS: Louisiana remains at the CAJUNDOME for next weekend when ULM makes the trip down to Lafayette for a Saturday matchup on Jan. 19. The game, which is scheduled to start at 2 p.m., will be televised on Cox Sports TV and broadcast on ESPN 1420AM.
TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE: Both season tickets and individual game tickets for Louisiana Women's Basketball are available for purchase by either heading to ragincajuns.com/tickets or by calling the Louisiana Athletics Ticket Office at the CAJUNDOME, (337) 265-2357, or by visiting the office in person.
FOLLOWING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS: Follow the Ragin' Cajuns on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (@RaginCajunsWBB) to stay up-to-date with Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Women's Basketball.