Jan 12, 2013 11:40 PM by UL Sports Information
LAFAYETTE - In their second Cajundome contest of the Garry Brodhead era, it was the Ragin' Cajuns women's basketball team who experienced a second half scoring lull and it proved to be the difference here Saturday evening against Arkansas State.
The Red Wolves (8-9, 5-3 Sun Belt) held Louisiana (7-10, 1-7 Sun Belt) to one point and without a field goal make in the first nine-plus minutes of the second stanza to pull out of a halftime deficit (15-14) and open a 20-point advantage on the way to a 48-39 victory.
Louisiana's first field goal make of the second stanza was a Sylvana Okde basket at the 10:23 mark. ASU, which was held to 20 percent shooting in the opening stanza, hit 10-of-15 attempts during the Cajuns slow start and outscored the hosts 22-1 to open a 36-16 advantage.
For the Cajuns, it was the opposite situation of the team's first Cajundome game of the season when they held UALR without a field for 13:06, erased a halftime deficit and held on for a 56-54 win in double overtime.
Keke Veal led UL in scoring with a game-high 16 points. The Red Wolves were led by Jane Morrill's 14 points.
Louisiana rebounded to make 5-of-10 shot attempts after the ASU surge and rally within single digits, but ran out of time.
Starting with a Jasmin Mills layup at 1:10, the Cajuns scored on four straight possessions capped off by a Veal layup to trim the deficit to 46-39, but only 13 seconds remained.
"I thought we did a pretty good job stopping their transition game in the first half, which was what hurt us when we played them a couple of weeks ago," head coach Garry Brodhead said. "We started the second half lethargic, didn't get back and they got some easy baskets in transition. That is something we can't allow."
"We stopped pressing because our bench is short and we didn't want to tire our kids out, but we are running a motion offense and getting tired anyway," Brodhead added. "We work so hard offensively, cutting hard to the basket and setting screens that we get tired and have to continually substitute. That leads to some unusual lineups being on the floor and it hurts us offensively."
The Ragin' Cajuns appeared destined for a different result in the rematch with the Red Wolves, leading for all but three minutes of the first half.
An Okde triple at 19:39 opened the scoring and a Mills basket at 15:05 gave UL a 7-2 advantage at the game's first media timeout.
ASU dropped the deficit to 7-4 following a Hanna Qedan jumper at 13:20, then the Cajuns defense kicked in and the offense caught a 6-0 spark to pull in front 13-4 by the 9:57 mark. UL forced ASU into three turnovers and four missed shots during the time frame.
The Cajuns were unable to capitalize, though, as the squad went the next nine minutes without a field goal make and the Red Wolves scored seven unanswered for a 14-13 lead at 3:44.
Kia Wilridge scored a layup with 48 seconds left in the opening stanza and UL reclaimed the lead heading into the locker room.
The Red Wolves grabbed control of the contest very early in the second half, connecting on six field goal attempts before the first media timeout to gain a 27-15 advantage.
The lead grew to 36-16 before Okde's bucket at 10:23 gave the Cajuns their first make of the second stanza.
"Still, I have to remain positive. I knew going into the year that we were going to be out-manned at times because we are small and have limited experience," Brodhead remarked. "The process of growing this program has been a lot of fun and I need to keep that in perspective as we play the next seven weeks. Nobody had any expectations for this team when the season started, except me and the people in our locker room. I am proud of this group."
Louisiana travels to Kentucky and Tennessee next week for the Western Kentucky-Middle Tennessee road trip. The Cajuns face WKU on Wednesday, Jan. 16 in Bowling Green, Ky., in a 7 p.m. game at E.A. Diddle Arena, then travel to Murfreesboro, Tenn., to meet Middle Tennessee at 3 p.m. inside the Murphy Center.