Jan 9, 2013 11:44 PM by UL Sports Information
The Ragin' Cajuns women's basketball team shot nearly 50 percent from three-point range against the Sun Belt's top three-point percentage defense, but South Alabama's ability to reach the free throw line was the difference as the visitors topped Louisiana 53-43 Wednesday evening at Earl K. Long Gym.
Louisiana (7-9, 1-6 Sun Belt) finished 46.7 percent from three-point range (7-of-15) against a Jaguars squad that came in holding opponents to 21 percent from beyond the arc.
South Alabama (10-6, 3-4 Sun Belt) attempted 25 free throws, compared to just nine for the Cajuns, and held a 12-4 advantage in makes.
The Jaguars were able to match the Cajuns from beyond the arc, knocking down seven triples with four coming from Mansa El. That offset UL's production in a contest that saw a similar stat line for both squads.
Sylvana Okde paced the Ragin' Cajuns with 14 points on the strength of four triples. Kia Wilridge joined her in double figures with 12 points.
El led USA with a game-high 20 points, with 14 coming in the second half.
The Jaguars used a 15-0 run in the middle stages of the second half to fend off the Cajuns. The run came moments after Louisiana rolled of 10 unanswered to grab hold of a 34-30 lead with 14:07 remaining.
USA led 45-34 after a Mary Nixon basket at 8:00, but the Cajuns battled back to create a two-possession game by the 5:38 mark.
Okde landed a trey at 7:38, then after a pair of defensive stops Louisiana drew within six points (45-39) following a Keke Veal layup.
After swapped baskets the USA edge was 47-41 as the clock dipped below five minutes. Three straight empty possessions by the Cajuns later and the clock became the squad's enemy.
Two Ronneka Robertson free throws with 3:15 left, USA's ninth and 10th makes of the night, upped the advantage to eight points.
Louisiana would go the rest of the way without a field goal make and an El jumper at 1:29 gave USA a 51-42 lead.
USA held a slim 17-16 edge in field goals made, three-pointers were even (7-7) and both teams shot below 40 percent. The Jaguars eight-point edge in free throws and ability to keep the Cajuns off the offensive glass (UL only seven offensive rebounds) were key to USA's ninth straight win in the all-time series.
Louisiana got off to a quick start in the first half, as Okde and Veal buried three-pointers for a 6-2 edge just two minutes into the contest.
USA drew even at 8-apiece with an El triple at 15:46, then El fed Veronica Cherizol on a fastbreak off a missed attempt by Jasmin Mills for a 10-8 lead.
The Jaguars would not relinquish the lead as their defense frustrated the Cajuns forcing a total of three shot clock violations from the 8:52 mark through the 3:18 mark. During that stretch the Jaguars lead reached nine points, 22-13.
Louisiana forced USA into six missed field goals down the stretch and sliced the deficit to 22-20 after an Okde jumper at 1:25. Two Cherizol free throws, which increased the Jags' edge at the line to 5-0 in the first 20 minutes, provided a 24-20 halftime lead for South Alabama.
BANK SHOTS: The Cajuns and Jaguars met for the 43rd time, overall, and 14th time at Earl K. Long Gym...The Jaguars increased their series lead to 33-10 (9-5 at Earl K. Long Gym)...Louisiana lost for the first time when holding the opposition below 40 percent (USA shot 37.8 percent)...Sylvana Okde made at least three triples in a contest for the seventh time...It was the most three's for Okde since draining seven in the 65-64 overtime win at Tulane back on Dec. 17...Louisiana shot 46.7 percent from three-point range, the highest percentage from beyond the arc for a team with double digit attempts against the Jaugars defense this season...The seven triples made by the Cajuns was the most hte Jaguars have surrendered, surpassing the six allowed to Florida Atlantic on Nov. 28.
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South Alabama vs Louisiana
01/09/13 7:00 p.m. at Lafayette, La. (Earl K. Long Gym)
SOUTH ALABAMA (10-6, 3-4 SBC) El, Mansa 6-13 4-9 20; Nixon, Mary 3-4 0-2 8; Robertson, Ronneka 2-5 4-5 8; Cherizol, Veronica 2-3 3-7 7; Wright, Brianna 2-4 0-1 4; Hall, Breanna 1-4 1-1 3; Webb, Brittany 1-4 0-0 3; Sophus, Diamonshia 0-2 0-0 0; Reynolds, Camille 0-3 0-0 0; Dunn, Meghan 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 17-45 12-25 53
LOUISIANA (7-9, 1-6 SBC) Okde, Sylvana 5-12 0-0 14; Wilridge, Kia 5-10 2-4 12; Schambough, Brandi 2-2 0-0 6; Veal, Keke 2-14 0-0 5; Mills, Jasmin 1-5 1-3 3; Benjamin, Ashley 1-5 1-2 3; Brown, Robbie 0-1 0-0 0; Prejean, Adrienne 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 16-50 4-9 43
Halftime Score: South Alabama 24, Louisiana 20. 3-point goals--South Alabama 7-21 (El, Mansa 4-8; Nixon, Mary 2-3; Webb, Brittany 1-3; Hall, Breanna 0-2; Reynolds, Camille 0-2; Dunn, Meghan 0-2; Robertson, Ronneka 0-1), Louisiana 7-15 (Okde, Sylvana 4-10; Schambough, Brandi 2-2; Veal, Keke 1-3). Fouled out--South Alabama-None, Louisiana-Veal, Keke. Rebounds--South Alabama 40 (Robertson, Ronneka 13), Louisiana 32 (Wilridge, Kia 7). Assists--South Alabama 10 (El, Mansa 4), Louisiana 6 (Wilridge, Kia 3). Total fouls--South Alabama 10, Louisiana 21. Technical fouls--South Alabama-None, Louisiana-None. Att-286