Feb 6, 2014 5:45 PM by UL Sports Information
ARLINGTON, Texas - Desharra Nwanguma recorded a career-high 34 points and UT Arlington used a 12-3 run to open the second half as the Mavs pulled away from a one-point lead and defeated the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns, 73-54, in a Sun Belt Conference game Thursday afternoon at College Park Center.
Briana Walker added 10 points and Malaika Green scored all nine of points in the second half as UTA (3-18, 2-8 SBC) won its second consecutive game and outscored Louisiana (10-11, 3-7 SBC), 41-23, in the second half. The Cajuns, which scored 27 points off 24 UTA turnovers, finished 19-for-64 (29.7 percent) from the floor and finished 4-for-15 from behind the 3-point line.
"They (UTA) played well and did a good job of getting the ball inside to their post players," head coach Garry Broadhead said. "I was disappointed in our performance because I know our kids are better than that. We didn't do the little things that we do the best and didn't play with a lot of energy."
Nwanguma, who finished 13-for-17 from the floor and 8-for-9 from the free throw line, keyed a UTA attack that outscored the Ragin' Cajuns in the paint, 46-20. The senior grabbed 13 rebounds as the Mavs finished 27-for-48 (56.3 percent) from the floor.
Leading 32-31 at halftime, UTA pushed its lead to 45-34 as Green hit back-to-back 3-pointers to help the Mavs pull away. The Cajuns closed to within 38-34 when Sylvana Okde buried a 3-pointer - her 24th consecutive game with a 3-pointer - but UTA would increase its lead to 11 as Walker converted on a three-point play and Nwanguma added a pair of buckets for a 45-34 lead with 15:48 remaining.
Louisiana struggled from the floor in the first half, missing 12 of its first 13 attempts from the floor while allowing UTA to build a 10-point lead. A free throw by UTA's Allyson Te'o gave the Mavs a 20-10 lead with 9:15 remaining in the first half before the Cajuns battled back.
A layup by Robbie Brown and a 3-pointer by Jaylyn Gordon opened a 12-2 run for the Ragin' Cajuns that was capped by a Gordon layup that knotted the game at 22-22 with 3:43 remaining.
Louisiana took its only lead of the game, 29-28, on a steal and layup by Kia Wilridge with 1:13 remaining in the first half before a bucket and a pair of free throws by Nwanguma gave the Mavs the lead for good.
Gordon came off the bench to lead the Ragin' Cajuns with 13 points while Brown added 11. Okde, the Cajuns' leading scorer at 12.0 points entering the game, was held to 1-for-4 from the field in 20 minutes of play.
Louisiana will return to Sun Belt Conference action on Saturday when it travels to San Marcos, Texas to face Texas State in a 2 p.m. contest at Strahan Coliseum.