Dec 23, 2012 2:19 PM by UL Sports Information
Arkansas State limited Louisiana's Sylvana Okde to just two field goal attempts and held the Ragin' Cajuns women's basketball team to 31 percent shooting as the Red Wolves captured a 77-53 win here Saturday afternoon at the Convocation Center as Sun Belt Conference play resumed.
Arkansas State (5-7, 2-1 Sun Belt) shot 64 percent in the second half to break open a nine-point contest. Louisiana (6-6, 0-3 Sun Belt) was limited to 28 percent in the second half as its 35-26 halftime deficit grew as large as 27 points.
Okde, the Sun Belt's leading three-point shooter, was held with a three-point attempt and was held to two points in 28 minutes of action - well below her season average of 13.5 points per game.
ASU protected the ball better in the second stanza which limited the Cajuns points off of turnovers production. The Red Wolves, who gave up 12 turnovers and 13 points off those miscues in the first 20 minutes, committed just six turnovers in the final 20 minutes and the Cajuns netted just three points off the miscues.
Keke Veal hit a trey with 16:15 remaining to trim the Cajuns' deficit to 42-31. The Red Wolves rattled off a 17-2 run to create enough separation for the final 10 minutes of the contest.
Kia Wilridge led all Cajuns with 15 points on 6-of-17 shooting off the bench. Veal joined her in double figures with 11 points which included a 4-for-4 showing at the free throw line.
Junior Jane Morrill led the way for A-State with 22 points and five rebounds, while Jalen O'Bannon scored a career-high 13 points on 6-of-6 shooting.
ASU took advantage of its height in the post with Morrill, Carlisha Wyatt and Jasmine Hunt. The trio combined to score 39 points on the day and helped the Red Wolves finish with a 39-33 edge on the boards as the Cajuns were once again without the services of leading rebounder Byronesha Santiago.
The Red Wolves finished the contest shooting a season-best 59.6 percent (31-of-52). Louisiana was held below 40 percent shooting for the seventh time this season.
The loss keeps the Cajuns in search of the first Sun Belt win of the Garry Brodhead era. The Cajuns take a week-long break for the Christmas holiday, returning to action on Saturday, Dec. 29 against UALR at the Cajundome. The game will be held at the Cajundome and is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. It's the opening part of a doubleheader with the Cajuns and Trojans men's squads.
The UALR contest will mark the first Cajundome game of the Garry Brodhead era and first of five appearances in the facility this season.
It was a lengthy scoring run by the Red Wolves in the first half that catapulted the hosts into a lead they would not surrender.
Brandi Schambough drew the Cajuns into a 7-all tie with a triple at the 16:26 mark. A steal by Ashley Olvera and subsequent layup by Quinishia McDowell at 15:07 was the start of an 18-2 run by ASU that stretched the lead to 25-9 by the 9:41 mark.
The Cajuns defense pressured ASU into four turnovers over the next three minutes and reeled off eight unanswered capped off by a Wilridge layup at 6:18 to cut the deficit to 25-17.
UL lowered their deficit into single digits twice over the next four minutes, but each time the Red Wolves had an answer.
Another Schambough triple at 4:07 dropped the ASU lead to 28-20, only to have a Sandy Jackson triple return the Red Wolves advantage back into double digits.
Jasmin Mills scored a layup at 2:08 to make it 31-22 and UL had an opportunity to get closer after a missed basket, but a Veal turnover resulted in a Morrill jumper at 1:33 for a 33-22 ASU advantage.
Mills connected on two freebies with 34 seconds showing to lower the deficit to seven points, 33-26 right before halftime.
A Robbie Brown layup began the second stanza and brought Louisiana within seven points again at 35-28. However, four five straight missed field goals and seven unanswered by ASU created a double digit lead once again and changed the momentum for good.
The Cajuns lost to Arkansas State for the 10th straight meeting. ASU has now won 38 of the past 42 meetings dating back to 1990 and upped its all-time series lead to 44-12.
With non-conference play complete, Saturday's game in Jonesboro was the first of 18 straight Sun Belt outings to conclude the inaugural regular season under head coach Garry Brodhead.