Jan 23, 2013 11:44 PM by UL Sports Information
The Ragin' Cajuns women's basketball team kept pace with FIU throughout the evening - the lead changing hands 13 times - and had an opportunity to claim victory in regulation here Wednesday evening at Earl K. Long Gym.
Keke Veal's shot attempt from the top of the key bounced off the back of the rim resulting in a 56-all deadlock which forced an extra session. FIU received a boost from Jerica Coley in overtime to outlast Louisiana 64-63.
The Ragin' Cajuns (7-13, 1-10 Sun Belt) struck first in overtime as Veal connected on a jumper 40 seconds in.
The defense held the Panthers (12-7, 6-4 Sun Belt) in check, forcing consecutive empty possessions. Coley, who finished with a game-high 34 points, ended FIU's scoring drought with baskets at 3:29 and 2:36 to give the Panthers a 60-58 edge.
Veal missed a three-point attempt for a chance at the lead, then Marita Davydova's jumper upped the FIU lead to 62-58 with 1:30 remaining.
Louisiana made one final push, drawing within a point (62-61) after a Veal layup with 27 seconds left and holding possession after Coley missed the front end of a 1-and-1. Veal drove into the lane, but was whistled for an offensive foul and Coley made a pair of free throws with nine seconds showing to up the lead to 64-61.
Louisiana shot 48 percent (24-of-50) in regulation and cut through the Panthers defense throughout the evening finishing with a 30-26 edge in points in the paint.
Veal's team-high 15 points paced three Cajuns in double digits. Ashley Benjamin added 13 points and Sylvana Okde notched 12 on the strength of three 3-point baskets. Seven different Cajuns made multiple field goals
The Cajuns withstood a pair of FIU rallies in the second half and staged a comeback that nearly resulted in a victory.
Benjamin had given UL a 44-39 lead at the 9:32 mark. The Panthers stormed back with a 10-2 run to claim a 49-46 lead at 5:38.
Adrienne Prejean and Benjamin combined a four-point spurt that pulled UL ahead 50-49 with 4:14 showing, only to have FIU string together three straight scoring possessions for a 54-50 edge.
Veal ended the Panthers run at 1:59 with a jumper, but Coley answered to return the deficit to four points (56-52) at 1:35. Robbie Brown pulled UL within two just before the one-minute mark, then after a Coley miss Veal scored a basket with 23 seconds on the clock to draw a 56-all tie.
Benjamin stole the ball from Coley on the ensuing possession to set up a potential game-clinching drive. A block by Coley and missed jumper by Veal allowed FIU to dodge defeat.
Louisiana takes a week-long break from action, with Saturday, Jan. 26 serving as one of two off days in the Cajuns Sun Belt slate. The Cajuns return to the court on Wednesday, Jan. 30 hosting North Texas at 7 p.m. at Earl K. Long Gym.
Both teams found an offensive rhythm from the onset, combining for 22 points (11-all tie) and extending the clock to 12:54 before the first media timeout.
After FIU grabbed a 5-3 lead at 16:42, the Cajuns picked up baskets from Jasmin Mills and Veal on back-to-back possessions for a 7-5 edge at 15:40.
Swapped baskets ruled play through the 11 minute mark and the result was a 13-all tie.
Okde's second trey of the opening stanza provided UL a 16-13 lead at 10:22. The Panthers used offensive putbacks on consecutive possessions to reclaim the lead, 17-16, two minutes later.
A Kia Wilridge steal at 6:38 led to a Brown three-point play and a 19-17 Cajuns advantage. A miss by Coley led to an Okde free throw at 6:01 and a three-point edge.
FIU turned to Coley for six of the eight points on a run that pushed the visitors ahead 25-20, a lead they would maintain heading into the locker room.
Six different Cajuns converted a field goal in the opening stanza, with Okde leading the charge with seven points, as UL kept pace with the Panthers' attack that was fueled by 12 points from Coley.
NEWSPAPER BOX SCORE
01/23/13 7:00 p.m. at Lafayette, La. (Earl K. Long Gym)
At Lafayette, La. (Earl K. Long Gym)
FIU 64, LOUISIANA 63
FIU (12-7, 6-4 SBC) Coley, Jerica 15-23 4-6 34; Davydova, Marita 4-9 3-4 11; Durant, Arielle 2-7 2-2 6; Miloglav, Carmen 2-2 0-0 4; Ashmore, Diamond 1-2 2-2 4; Labady, Zsofia 1-4 1-2 3; McKinzie, Tynia 0-2 2-2 2; Epnere, Katrina 0-0 0-0 0; Shade, Taylor 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-49 14-18 64
LOUISIANA (7-13, 1-10 SBC) Veal, Keke 7-17 1-3 15; Benjamin, Ashley 6-11 1-1 13; Okde, Sylvana 4-7 1-2 12; Wilridge, Kia 3-11 1-2 7; Prejean, Adrienne 2-3 3-4 7; Brown, Robbie 2-7 1-1 5; Mills, Jasmin 2-2 0-0 4; Schambough, Brandi 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-58 8-13 63
Halftime Score: FIU 27, Louisiana 25. 3-point goals--FIU 0-1 (; Labady, Zsofia 0-1), Louisiana 3-6 (Okde, Sylvana 3-4; Veal, Keke 0-2). Fouled out--FIU-Davydova, Marita, Louisiana-Veal, Keke. Rebounds--FIU 33 (Davydova, Marita 6), Louisiana 26 (Benjamin, Ashley 7). Assists--FIU 8 (Miloglav, Carmen 3; Coley, Jerica 3), Louisiana 6 (Wilridge, Kia 2; Benjamin, Ashley 2). Total fouls--FIU 14, Louisiana 17. Technical fouls--FIU-None, Louisiana-None. Att-235