Nov 15, 2013 6:03 PM by UL Sports Information
HUNTSVILLE, Texas - A late comeback attempt fell short for the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns, which dropped an 83-73 decision to defending Southland Conference champion Sam Houston State, in a Friday matinee at Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum.
Louisiana (2-1) will return home on Wednesday, Nov. 20 when its takes on Lamar at 7 p.m. in the Cajundome.
As they did in their previous two games, the Cajuns had four players reach double-digits in scoring. Keke Veal led the charge with 17 points. Jaylyn Gordon added a career-high 13 points for the Cajuns and Ashley Benjamin and Sylvana Okde each added 12.
"We didn't guard very good in the halfcourt, so we had to extend it and we eventually rotated some people in and we started to play a lot better in the fullcourt," head coach Garry Brodhead said. "At the beginning of the game, we didn't handle it (first road trip) very well. We didn't guard and we lost our focus. Towards the end, we cut it to seven, and with a minute left, we were getting steals, pushing the ball up the floor and playing more as a team."
After going into the halftime break trailing 43-33, the Cajuns saw SHSU (1-2) go on a 10-0 run to open up the lead to 20 points. The Bearkats would add to the lead later, holding a 22-point lead with just under 15 minutes remaining.
The Cajuns wouldn't sit back. Down 20 points with 12:06 remaining, the Cajuns found their shooting touch and closed the gap to 74-67 with 2:33 left on the clock.
The comeback fell short for the Cajuns as Veal fouled out with four minutes left and the teams would trade baskets for the final few minutes.
"I was really pleased with Adrienne Prejean and Melody Williams," Brodhead said. "They came in off the bench and gave us a spark. The thing that was impressive with a young team is that they didn't give up and fought at the end."
SHSU held a strong advantage in shooting percentage, shooting 61 percent (25-for-41) including shooting 5-for-7 from beyond the arc. The Cajuns' shot 30.8 percent (24-for-78) and hit 10-of-33 three-point attempts.
The two teams made a combined 56 fouls for 50 free throws. Louisiana recorded 15 steals and scored 34 points off 29 SHSU turnovers.
Jasmine Johnson scored a game-high 31 points for SHSU to pace four players in double figures. Angela Beadle added 14 points and 19 rebounds for the Bearkats, while Jazmin Wiley had 13 points and Amanda Barnes 12.