Jan 2, 2013 11:50 PM by UL Sports Information
Florida Atlantic made 11 three-pointers, including five during a decisive 19-5 run midway through the second half, as the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns women's basketball team dropped a 79-44 decision to the Owls on Wednesday night in the FAU Arena.
While Florida Atlantic was shooting 48 percent from three-point (11-of-23), setting a season-high for three-pointers by a UL opponent, cold shooting and turnovers hurt the Louisiana offense. The Cajuns managed just 29 percent shooting (18-of-62) while committing 19 turnovers and having 13 shots blocked.
Keke Veal came off the bench to be the only Cajun to reach double figures in scoring, finishing with 10 points, while Jasmin Mills set a career-high with 11 rebounds. Latavia Dempsey led the Owls with 19 points while Chenise Miller added 16 points and Kimberly Smith and Takia Brooks had 11 points each.
The loss drops Louisiana to 7-7 on the year and 1-4 in Sun Belt play while FAU continues to be the surprise of the season under first year head coach Kellie Lewis-Jay, improving to 8-6 overall and 5-0 in Sun Belt action.
"They did a great job of finding the open shooter on offense tonight and we didn't defend them well," Louisiana head coach Garry Brodhead said. "Our defensive transition was not very good tonight and FAU took advantage of it. We are going to need to work on that in the next couple of days.
"It's hard playing with such a young team to go out on the road and then have to come back from behind," Brodhead added. "We executed offensively pretty well, but our shots didn't fall and as the game went on, and we got frustrated. That has been the story of our season. We played Tulane two weeks ago and those shots all fell, but tonight they didn't."
After Veal scored in the lane as part of an 8-2 spurt to bring the Cajuns back from a 15-point second half deficit to trail 40-31 with 15:04 left, the Owls sharp-shooters took over.
Dempsey (5-for-5) and Smith (3-for-5), who combined to go eight-for-10 from beyond the arc in the game, would combine to make four treys as part of an FAU outburst that took control of the game, opening a 59-36 lead.
"They got some good looks at the basket and made their shots," Brodhead said. "We made some mistakes defensively and it showed."
Despite the career-best effort by Mills, FAU had a 57-42 rebounding advantage, grabbing 19 offensive boards and owning a 17-7 edge in second chance points.
The Ragin' Cajuns remain in south Florida, moving down I-95 on Saturday for a 4:30 p.m. CST meeting with FIU at U.S. Century Bank Arena. FIU holds an 8-2 series lead in games played in Miami.
The first half was an offensive struggle for the Cajuns as UL started the game by making just five of its first 26 field goal attempts (19.2 percent) before making five of their final six shots to close the half.
Louisiana opened the scoring at the 19:26 mark when Ashley Benjamin made one of two free throws. The Owls would run off five straight points to take the lead for good, eventually leading 29-14 with 3:49 left.
The Cajun offense came to life as Keke Veal came off the bench to sandwich three baskets around a hoop by Adrienne Prejean to pull UL to within 31-23 at the intermission.
BANK SHOTS: The Cajuns and Owls met for the 10th time, with FAU upping its series lead to 7-3...It was the first of two meetings this season as part of the Sun Belt's double round-robin format scheduling (FAU returns the Cajuns visit on Saturday, Feb. 16 at the Cajundome)...Keke Veal collected four steals to up her season total to 33, the second-most on the squad...As a team, Louisiana reached double digits in steals (11) for the 11th time in 14 outings...Louisiana forced FAU into 17 turnovers, which was above the Owls' Sun Belt-low season average of 15.6 turnovers per game.
NEWSPAPER BOX SCORE
Louisiana vs FAU
01/02/13 7 p.m. at Boca Raton, Fla. (FAU Arena)
LOUISIANA (7-7, 1-4 SBC) Veal, Keke 5-16 0-0 10; Wilridge, Kia 3-8 3-5 9; Prejean, Adrienne 3-6 2-2 8; Brown, Robbie 2-4 0-2 4; Okde, Sylvana 2-5 0-0 4; Mills, Jasmin 1-8 1-4 3; Benjamin, Ashley 1-8 1-4 3; Schambough, Brandi 1-5 0-0 3; Whittaker, Megan 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 18-62 7-17 44
FAU (8-5, 5-0 SBC) DEMPSEY, Latavia 6-9 2-2 19; MILLER, Chenise 6-10 4-7 16; BROOKS, Takia 4-8 2-2 11; SMITH, Kimberly 3-8 2-4 11; BLAKELY, Briah 3-7 0-1 7; TURNER, Breana 3-9 0-0 6; SCHROUDER, Shanequa 1-2 0-0 3; QUEEN, Jasmine 1-3 0-0 2; STEVENSON, Ashley 1-5 0-0 2; ROBINSON, Morgan 0-4 2-2 2; PROCTOR, Kelsey 0-2 0-0 0; MARSH, Brianna 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 28-69 12-18 79
Halftime Score: FAU 31, Louisiana 23. 3-point goals--Louisiana 1-6 (Schambough, Brandi 1-4; Okde, Sylvana 0-1; Whittaker, Megan 0-1), FAU 11-23 (DEMPSEY, Latavia 5-5; SMITH, Kimberly 3-5; BLAKELY, Briah 1-3; BROOKS, Takia 1-1; SCHROUDER, Shanequa 1-1; ROBINSON, Morgan 0-2; MARSH, Brianna 0-1; STEVENSON, Ashley 0-1; QUEEN, Jasmine 0-1; TURNER, Breana 0-2; MILLER, Chenise 0-1). Fouled out--Louisiana-None, FAU-None. Rebounds--Louisiana 42 (Mills, Jasmin 11), FAU 57 (SCHROUDER, Shanequa 10). Assists--Louisiana 4 (Wilridge, Kia 2), FAU 16 (SMITH, Kimberly 3; BROOKS, Takia 3; SCHROUDER, Shanequa 3). Total fouls-Louisiana 19, FAU 19. Technical fouls--Louisiana-None, FAU-None. Att-258