Women's Basketball: Cajuns Rally Late, But Fall To Arkansas State, 75-73, In Regular Season Finale
Louisiana will now enter the Sun Belt Conference Women's Basketball Championships as the 10th seed and will face seventh seed South Alabama in Mobile, Ala. on Monday, March 11
LAFAYETTE – A late run by Louisiana Women's Basketball (7-22, 5-13 SBC) almost gave the Ragin' Cajuns a big comeback win, but the rally fell short in the final seconds as the Arkansas State Red Wolves (12-17, 7-11 SBC) came away with a 75-73 win in the regular season finale Saturday afternoon at the CAJUNDOME.
Sophomore center Ty'Reona Doucet led Louisiana in scoring with 16 points and a team-high seven rebounds while freshman guard Brandi Williams and sophomore guard Joymra Mathis each added 14 points. Freshman guard Andrea Cournoyer, who's three-point shot with 35 seconds left tied the game, finished with 12 points to give Louisiana four scorers in double digits for the first time since Feb. 9 at Georgia State.
HOW IT HAPPENED (First Half): The first quarter went back-and-forth, with both sides trading leads six times during the period. But Arkansas State took the early control, taking a four-point lead at the 7:12 mark of the quarter thanks to a three-point basket by Lycia Peevy, putting the score at 8-4.
But Louisiana answered, taking back the lead and pushing it to three points thanks to a seven-point stretch by freshman guard Diamond Morrison started by a three-point basket with 4:20 left and over the next minute and a half Morrison would power Louisiana to a 14-11 lead. Arkansas State drew even with Louisiana, but with 21 seconds left sophomore guard Skyler Goodwin hit a jumper to put the score at 16-14 with Louisiana in front heading into the second quarter.
Louisiana quickly pushed its lead to seven points, twice hitting that advantage over the first two and a half minutes, with the score sitting at 25-21 with 7:22 remaining thanks to a Williams jump shot. The Red Wolves did not let Louisiana pull away during that stretch and much like the first quarter, the remainder of the period was back-and-forth.
The Ragin' Cajuns would hold onto the lead over the final four minutes, after a pair of free throws by Payton Tennison tied things at 29-29, Louisiana answered every Arkansas State basket and took a 34-33 lead into the break.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Second Half): Once again the quarter would evolve into 10 minutes of back-and-forth action, with both sides trading leads seven times during the period. Arkansas State twice took the lead over the first two and a half minutes, taking a 39-38 lead on a Morgan Wallace free throw at 7:27.
The Wallace free throw sparked a one-and-a-half-minute stretch where both sides took and then handed back the lead and when the smoke cleared Louisiana led 42-41 on a Doucet jumper at the 5:53 mark of the period. But Louisiana could not pull away and the Red Wolves caught and passed the Ragin' Cajuns with 30 seconds left in the quarter and a 5-2 finish by the Red Wolves gave them a 51-48 lead into the final quarter.
Arkansas State nearly ran away with the game in the final quarter, with the Red Wolves hitting a 9-0 run from the 6:32 mark to the 4:19 mark of the quarter. But the hard-fighting Ragin' Cajuns dug deep, and the comeback was on thanks to a 8-0 run, sparked by Williams' back-to-back baskets, pulled Louisiana right back into the game.
The game would be tied twice over the final 2:50 of the period, and with 42 seconds a pair of free throws from Akasha Westbrook gave Arkansas State a 73-70 lead. Louisiana came down and answered, following a timeout called by head coach Garry Brodhead, Cournoyer took the pass from sophomore guard Jomyra Mathis and confidently hit a deep three-point basket to tie things back up at 73-73.
But Arkansas State would get the last points, with Jireh Washington draining a pair of free throws with seven seconds left to give Arkansas State the lead and eventual win, 75-73, to close out the CAJUNDOME for the 2018-19 season.
GAME NOTES: Louisiana shot 50 percent from the field, which is ties the season-high, is the best non-overtime percentage and the best conference field goal percentage of the season ... Louisiana's four scorers in double figures is the first time that has happened since Feb. 9 at Georgia State ... For the second time this conference season Louisiana had 40 points in the paint, the last being vs. Appalachian State on Jan. 31.
UP NEXT FOR THE CAJUNS: Louisiana opens up the 2019 Sun Belt Conference Women's Basketball Championships with a first round, play-in game, matchup at South Alabama on Monday, March 9, with tip scheduled for 7 p.m.
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.