LAFAYETTE – Brandi Williams' made 3-pointer with 1:39 to play in overtime proved to be the game-winner as Louisiana secured its first win in Jonesboro since Dec. 31, 2017, with a thrilling 67-65 victory over Arkansas State on Friday night.
Williams scored 11 of her 12 points in the second half and overtime, including her clutch triple late in the game, to help the Ragin' Cajuns (3-5, 2-1 Sun Belt) pick up their first overtime victory since defeating Georgia Southern in three overtimes, 88-81, on March 6, 2018, at the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.
Senior Jomyra Mathis flirted with a triple-double on Friday night, scoring a team-high 17 points, dishing out a season-best seven assists and hauling in six rebounds. Ty'Reona Doucetnearly had her third double-double of the season, bringing down a season-high 12 boards and scoring eight points.
After finishing the first half with a 25-23 lead, Louisiana used an 11-0 run to break away and go up 36-23 following a fast-break layup from Mathis. Skyler Goodwin grew the advantage to 45-29 late in the period with two of her 16 points in the game before Williams buried a 3-pointer as the horn sounded to give the Ragin' Cajuns a 23-10 scoring advantage in the quarter and send the game into the fourth with a 48-33 lead.
Arkansas State (9-2, 4-1 Sun Belt) flipped the script in a hurry, outscoring Louisiana 22-7 over an 8:33 stretch to tie the game at 55-55. Mathis thought she had the winner by cashing in a triple with 1:06 showing on the clock, but an old-fashioned three-point play by A-State's Mya Love, who finished with a game-high 21 points, sent the contest to overtime with the score locked up at 58-58.
Both team's traded buckets throughout the early stages of overtime until a pair of made free throw from Arkansas State's Morgan Wallace put the hosts in front 64-63. Needing a big play late in the game, the team turned to Williams, who drilled a clutch 3-pointer to push Louisiana back in front, 66-64.
With the Ragin' Cajuns holding on to a two-point lead with seven seconds to play, Wallace had a chance to force a second overtime for the Red Wolves but her layup came back off the iron as time expired, preserving the 67-65 win for Louisiana.
Game Two of the series is slated to begin at 4 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. The contest will be broadcast on both ESPN and ESPN 1420 AM.