Dec 18, 2012 12:08 AM by UL Sports Information
Freshman Sylvana Okde scored in double digits for the seventh time this season, leading the Ragin' Cajuns with 14 points, but UC-Riverside used a 15-0 run late in the second half to best Louisiana, 55-37, Monday night at Earl K. Long Gym.
"I thought we played really hard and with a lot of effort in the first half, but in the second half we didn't fight through," said head coach Garry Brodhead. "I thought we had a lot of mental errors. We put the players in position to try and score but I think we played more as individuals tonight rather than as a team.
"We have a tough task ahead of us on Wednesday so we have to put this one behind us and get ready for a strong Tulane team."
UC Riverside held a slight advantage early before back-to-back treys by Okde boosted the home team to an 8-7 lead with 13:23 on the clock.
The first half went back-and-forth with five lead changes. Back-to-back steals and layups by Keke Veal and Robbie Brown gave the Cajuns a six-point cushion and their largest lead at the 2:02 mark, 23-17.
The Highlanders went into the locker room with the momentum - and the lead - after scoring seven unanswered points.
A pair of free throws by Tre'Shonti Nottingham started the run. She stole the ball just seconds later, leading to a layup as the Highlanders trailed by just two. A three pointer by Kiara Harewood with 11 seconds remaining in the half gave the Highlanders a 24-23 advantage at the break.
Okde led Louisiana at the intermission with 11 points after knocking down three of four three pointers.
Back-to-back three pointers by UC Riverside upped the lead to 30-23 in the early minutes of the second half. The Highlanders built a nine point lead after a steal and layup by Nottingham gave the Highlanders a 36-27 advantage and forced a Louisiana timeout.
Okde knocked down another trey just seconds out of the timeout to cut the deficit to six, 36-30. However, UC-Riverside built a double-digit lead at the 5:47 mark after a Leah Washington jumper gave the Highlanders a 45-34 lead.
The Highlanders held the Cajuns scoreless for just over nine minutes, going on a 15-0 run to end the game. A free throw by Veal and layup by Robbie Brown were the only points the Cajuns scored in the final 10 minutes of the contest.
Okde went 4-of-9 from beyond the arc to lead the Cajuns with 14 points. Robbie Brown was the second leading scorer with eight points. Ashley Benjamin lead the Cajuns with 11 rebounds.
The Ragin' Cajuns return to action Wednesday when they travel to New Orleans to face Tulane at 11 a.m.