Feb 11, 2013 12:03 AM by UL Sports Information
LAFAYETTE - ULM closed out the second half with an 11-2 run to force overtime and fended off a Ragin' Cajuns rally in the extra session to escape with a 68-63 victory in women's basketball action at the Cajundome on Sunday evening.
The second-half ending run by the Warhawks (7-16, 5-9 SBC) was triggered by scores on five straight possessions and erased a 57-48 Ragin' Cajuns lead from the 2:52 mark through 1:50 mark.
Louisiana (7-16, 1-13 SBC) had led since a Kia Wilridge basket with 18:24 remaining gave the hosts a 32-31 lead. The Cajuns had two chances at a winning basket in the final minute of regulation.
The Warhawks hot surge continued in the opening minutes of overtime as baskets from Jasmine Shaw and Ashleigh Simmons on the first two touches opened a 63-59 lead.
A steal by Robbie Brown at 2:29 led to a layup that drew the Cajuns even at 63-all. UL would close out the remainder of overtime scoreless and the Warhawks broke the tie with a Christina Gray free throw at 1:49.
A turnover and three missed field goals prevented the Cajuns from scoring down the stretch, while an Alexar Tugler layup and Shaw free throws capped off the scoring for ULM.
The loss was a tough one for a Cajuns squad still in search of their first win in the "New Year". The Cajuns 10th straight loss came despite leading the Warhawks for all but 1:15 of the second stanza.
"It was a tough game tonight. I thought defensively, as hard as we played, we made mistakes in overtime and it gave them some easy baskets," head coach Garry Brodhead said. "I thought we had good looks at the basket tonight. We just didn't finish as well. That's one of the things we need to work on.
"I give credit to ULM, they never got rattled," Brodhead added. "They kept on coming, and they pressed us at the end and got a couple turnovers. We just had a couples mistakes along the way and we couldn't finish."
Sylvana Okde registered her sixth 20-point performance with exactly that amount to pace the Cajuns' efforts. Jasmin Mills added her second double-double of the season with 12 points and 13 rebounds.
The Cajuns shot a combined 3-of-13 from the final 3:32 of regulation to end of overtime in seeing the victory slip away. Louisiana finished the contest 23-of-70 (32.9 percent) compared to 25-of-56 (44.6 percent) for the Warhawks. ULM closed 7-of-12 from the field during the Cajuns late-game slump.
Shaw made a game-high nine field goals which resulted in a game-high 21 points for the Warhawks.
Louisiana returns to action on Wednesday, Feb. 13 in Mobile, Ala., against South Alabama (13-11, 6-9 SBC) at the Mitchell Center on the USA campus. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.
Sunday's contest marked the first meeting between the Cajuns and Warhawks in the Sun Belt's double round-robin schedule. Louisiana returns the visit on Saturday, March 2 in a 2 p.m., game at Fant-Ewing Coliseum in Monroe.
A slow start from the field (2-of-11) by the Cajuns and a fast start by the Warhawks (6-of-7) resulted in a 15-7 ULM lead after eight minutes of play. The Cajuns made four of their next six shots and chipped away at the Warhawks' lead, closing the deficit to 19-17 at 8:30 following a triple by Veal.
Okde provided UL with its first lead of the contest on the next possession with a triple. Continuing to put pressure on ULM, a steal by Adrienne Prejean led to a three-point play by Mills at 7:37 and capped off an 11-0 Cajuns run that resulted in a 23-19 advantage.
ULM responded with a 6-0 run to reclaim the lead, using the free throw shooting of Tyler Holley for the final four points of the spurt for a 25-23 lead with 4:29 remaining.
The lead swapped hands four times in the closing minutes, the last change coming at 1:36 on a Holley layup that provided the Warhawks a 29-28 halftime lead.
Louisiana produced 18 points off of ULM turnovers in erasing the early deficit and trail by only one point at the break despite the Warhawks shooting 52 percent (11-of-21).
Keke Veal gave UL a 30-29 lead with a layup of the team's first possession of the second half. Simmons temporarily returned the lead to ULM at 18:57, but the Cajuns produced more points of Warhawks turnovers when a Wilridge steal led to a basket at 18:24 for a 32-31 lead.
Louisiana began to extend its lead over ULM by holding the visitors scoreless for nearly four minutes and registering six unanswered from 14:54 through 11:53 for a 42-34 lead.
ULM closed within three points, 45-42, at 9:32 with a Shaw layup. The Cajuns stretched their lead to seven points, 49-42, from the free throw line with two apiece from Mills and Brown.
Louisiana led by five points or more until the one minute scoring spree by the Warhawks knotted the score at 59-all with 1:21 remaining in regulation.
Hurt by giving up points off turnovers throughout the night, the Warhawks generated seven points off of three costly Cajuns turnovers in staging their comeback.
BANK SHOTS: The Ragin' Cajuns played an overtime contest for the fourth time in the inaugural Garry Brodhead season...The opposition came away victorious for the second straight OT game (FIU won 64-63 on Jan. 23)...Sylvana Okde finished as Louisiana's leading scorer for the eighth time...Jasmin Mills collected her a double-double for the first time since a 14-point, 10-rebound effort against Southern-New Orleans back on Nov. 28...Keke Veal produced double figures in points for the seventh time in the past nine outings...Veal is averaging 12.5 points per game since Jan. 1...Sylvana Okde buried four 3-point baskets, marking the 10th time this season she's had at least three treys in a game...Okde is on pace to finish the season with 78 three-point field goals made, which would rank fifth all-time in a single season and be the first Cajuns player with 70-plus triples since Rhonda McCullough in 1989-90 (McCullough made 88)...The Cajuns and Warhawks faced off for the 46th time in a series that dates back to the 1970s...The Warhawks increased their all-time series lead to 40-6...It was the fourth meeting all-time in the Cajundome (ULM leads 3-1)...The Cajuns forced the opposition into more turnovers for the 17th time in 23 games (ULM 21 turnovers, UL 18)...
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02/10/13 5:00 p.m. at Lafayette La. (Cajundome)
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