Feb 16, 2013 11:42 PM by UL Sports Information
The Ragin' Cajuns women's basketball team used a strong second half to end an 11-game skid as Louisiana defeated Florida Atlantic 72-57 at the Cajundome on Saturday evening.
"We talk about it all year, about playing as a team," head coach Garry Brodhead said. "I thought tonight was a perfect example of how I think we can play every night. We played as a team offensively and defensively. I thought we did a good job. "
Louisiana (8-17, 2-14 Sun Belt) shot a season-best 52.9 percent (27-for-51) as a team including 38 points in the paint. The Cajuns also bested Florida Atlantic (11-14, 8-9 Sun Belt) in points off turnovers with a 24-13 edge.
"We had a goal before the game of keeping them under 57 or 58 points and we did that," Brodhead mentioned. "It took a complete team effort. I was really pleased with the way everyone played."
Freshmen Kia Wilridge and Keke Veal each posted career highs as the duo had 20 points apiece. Wilridge shot an impressive 80 percent from the floor (8-for-10) and had three assists, while Veal added seven rebounds and four steals to her performance.
"Keke and Kia did a great job tonight," Brodhead added. "Those two did a phenomenal job of putting the ball in the goal and taking care of the ball."
The Cajuns would grab a 36-35 edge on a Veal three pointer at the 19:06 mark to start the second half.
After the Owls battled back to take a 41-40 lead on a Chenise Miller layup with 16:28 left, Veal put Louisiana ahead for good with her jumper at the 14:51 mark.
The Ragin' Cajuns went on an 11-2 run to extend their advantage to 58-49 at the 8:07 mark. Louisiana limited Florida Atlantic to just 10 points in the final 12:24 of the contest.
The first half was tightly contested as there were seven lead changes and seven ties. Wilridge notched the first points of the on a layup.
After a couple lead changes, Florida Atlantic jumped out to their biggest lead of the contest at 18-14 on a three-pointer by Breana Turner.
Senior Brandi Schambough pulled the Cajuns back in front after a pair of three-point baskets to take a 20-18 edge at the 9:01 mark.
The Cajuns would get out to a four-point lead at the 5:22 mark after a layup by Adrienne Prejean.
FAU would rally to tie the contest at 27-all, and then got back out to a four-point advantage with 1:01 left in the half.
Wilridge knocked down her fifth bucket of the half with six seconds remaining in the first half to make the score 35-33 headed into the break. Wilridge was a perfect 5-for-5 from the field in the first half as the Cajuns shot an incredible 54.2 percent (13-for-24) from the field as a team.
BANK SHOTS: The Cajuns and Owls met for only the second time at the Cajundome with the series now tied at 1-all...FAU leads the overall series 3-2...The Cajuns shot a season best 52.9 percent from the floor, the previous best was 46.6 percent against New Orleans on Dec. 13...For the first time this season the Cajuns had to players post 20-plus efforts as both Veal and Wilridge had season-best performances of 20 points...Both of Louisiana's Sun Belt wins have come at home in the Cajundome.