LAFAYETTE – Looking to snap a three-game losing streak, the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns women's basketball team heads to Las Vegas, Nevada this weekend to take part in the South Point Thanksgiving Shootout, where they'll face Niagara on Saturday Nov. 25, followed by a matchup against Cleveland State on Sunday, Nov. 26.
The game against Niagara is scheduled for a 1 p.m. CST tip on Saturday, while the game against Cleveland State is scheduled for a 3:15 CST tip. Both games will be streamed live courtesy of the South Point Hotel & Casino.
LAST TIME OUT: Louisiana was shorthanded on Wednesday, Nov. 22, as they were missing senior Troi Swain and freshman Skyler Goodwin, when they hosted and lost to the Dillard Bleu Devils, 60-53 at the Cajundome.
The Cajuns were lead in scoring by sophomore Malachi-Seraphin Williams as she put in 14 points on 6-14 shooting, and sophomore Kimberly Burton recorded a double-double (10 points and 10 rebounds), but the absence of Swain and Goodwin was evident defensively as the Bleu Devils shot 44 percent from three-point range to help them get away with the win.
Louisiana did outrebound the Bleu Devils, 44-32, and the Cajuns outscored Dillard 34-28 in the paint, but the Cajuns couldn't overcome the Bleu Devils outstanding shooting from beyond the arc, as they dropped their third straight game.
BURTON GETS A FIRST: The double-double from Burton was the first of her career as she was strong on the board. She had six offensive rebounds and four defensive rebounds to add up to her 10 and she shot 56 percent from the field (5-9) to help pour in her 10 points.
CAJUNS GO PURPLE EAGLE HUNTING: The matchup against the Niagara Purple Eagles is the first time the two schools have met on the court. Niagara hasn't won a game yet this season as they sit at 0-4 entering the Saturday afternoon game with the Cajuns.
Niagara has struggled defensivly as their giving up an average of 82 points per game so far in the season, and in their last game they lost 67-59 at Oakland. Teams hace shot 53 percent against the Purple Eagles and the Cajuns will look to drain their open looks to take advantage of those numbers.
Leading the Purple Eagles in scoring is Victoria Rampado (15.5 ppg) and Rampado is leading Niagara in rebounds as well averaging 7.0 per game. Kaylee Stroemple is the second leading scorer for the Purple Eagles as she's averaging 11.3 points per game, and she's right being Rampado in rebounds per game with 6.8.
RAGIN' CAJUNS FACE OFF AGAINST THE VIKINGS: This will be only the second time the Cajuns have faced the Cleveland State Vikings in a game, the first being a 90-79 loss on Dec. 20, 1998, and the Vikings bring a 2-1 record with them to Las Vegas.
Cleveland State will first face off against Saint Louis on Friday, Nov. 24, before taking on the Cajuns in the Sunday matchup so their record will be one game different when taking on Louisiana. Entering the weekend's tournament, the Vikings are on a two-game winning streak haven beaten Eastern Michigan on Nov. 16 (77-65), and Marshall on Nov. 19 (85-76). All three of their games so far have been at home so this is the first time they'll be venturing from Cleveland, Ohio.
The Vikings have been tough defensively, holding their opponents to 38 percent shooting while shooting 44 percent themselves. But teams have scored on them, averaging 72.3 points per game, but the Vikings have made up that deficiency by scoring 75.3 points per game themselves to give them their 2-1 record on the season.
QUICK TURNAROUND: After their two games in Las Vegas, the Cajuns will make a quick turnaround as on Wednesday, Nov. 29, the Cajuns head to Jackson, Miss., to take on the national runners-up Mississippi State Bulldogs with tip scheduled for 7 p.m.
HOME SWEET OLD DOME: After a month where the Cajuns only played two home games, they'll finally get the chance to play back-to-back game at home as they'll host McNeese on Sunday, Dec. 3, followed by a visit from the SEC's Auburn Tigers on Friday, Dec. 8.
HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN TO THE CAJUNS: The games in Las Vegas will be streamed via the South Point Casino & Hotel and links can be found on the Cajuns website. While the Cajuns won't be covered on the radio in Las Vegas, Steve Peloquin will return with Ragin' Cajuns women's basketball coverage in Jackson, Miss.
FOLLOWING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS: Make sure to follow the Cajuns on twitter @RaginCajunsWBB for links to streaming and live stats for each game, along with updates through the game and links to game recaps.