Mar 3, 2014 12:12 AM by UL Sports Information
LAFAYETTE - Kia Wilridge scored seven of her team-high 17 points in overtime and the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns clinched a berth in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament as it rallied to defeat South Alabama, 68-61, on Sunday at the Cajundome.
Brooklyn Arceneaux scored 15 points and Gabby Alexander 14 as Louisiana (14-13, 7-9 SBC) won its fourth straight game. Sylvana Okde added nine points for the Cajuns while Braile Fields had six.
After trailing 22-17 at halftime and 36-27 with 14:43 remaining, the Cajuns went on an 8-0 run as Adrienne Prejean scored on a pair of buckets, Wilridge added a layup and Arceneaux hit a jumper to close the gap to 36-35.
South Alabama (7-19, 5-11 SBC) took a 53-49 lead when Ronneka Robertson scored on a layup with 1:00 remaining before Jaylyn Gordon drained a 3-pointer on the Cajuns' ensuing possession to cut the lead to 53-52.
Breanna Hall made one of two free throws for the Jaguars with 21 seconds remaining before Arceneaux tied the game at 54-54 after connecting on a pair of free throws with nine seconds left.
After free throws by Robertson and Hall gave South Alabama a 58-56 lead with 2:34 remaining in overtime, Fields drained a 3-pointer from the left wing for the Cajuns for a 59-58 lead before Wilridge would eventually give Louisiana the lead for good with 1:28 left when she made two free throws for a 61-59 lead.
Alexander and Wilridge combined to make seven free throws down the stretch to help the Cajuns sweep the season-series for the first time since the 1999-2000 season.
The Cajuns, which shot 7-for-28 (25.0 percent) from the floor in the first half, went 14-for-31 from the field in the second half and finished 23-for-62 (37.1 percent) for the game. Louisiana forced 18 turnovers while committing a season-low seven.
Robertson posted a double-double for South Alabama with a career-high 28 points with 17 rebounds before fouling out in overtime. Hall added 13 for the Jaguars while Rachel Cumbo had 10.
Louisiana will close out the regular-season with a pair of games on the road beginning Wednesday when it faces WKU in a 7 p.m. contest at E.A. Diddle Arena. The Cajuns will wrap up the regular-season on Saturday when it visits Arkansas State in a 3:05 p.m. contest.
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