BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns women's basketball team, despite not trailing by double digits until halfway through the final quarter, lost to the LSU Tigers, in the 31st matchup between the two schools, 60-45, here at the Maravich Center.
The loss drops the Cajuns record to 4-7, while LSU improves their record to 6-3 and it's the Tigers' fourth straight win.
Senior Simone Fields led the Cajuns in scoring, finishing with 12 points and seven rebounds and freshman Ty'Reonne Doucet again had a great showing finishing the game with 10 points and seven rebounds.
HOW IT HAPPENED (First Quarter): Louisiana came out and started the game strong, not giving the Tigers easy shots and they moved the ball well. Within the first five minutes of the quarter, Fields already had three assists, which tied her career high, and she added two points.
A jump shot from Fields at the 2:26 mark of the quarter brought the Cajuns within one point of the Tigers (12-11) and after another Tigers basket, Fields again came through getting to the line and draining both free throws to again bring the Cajuns within one point of the Tigers (14-13).
A quick 4-0 run from LSU in the final minute and a half of the quarter meant that LSU took a four-point lead into the quarter break, but the Cajuns had outrebounded the Tigers, 7 to 6, and the score sat at 17-13 in favor of LSU.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Second Quarter): Neither team could manage a basket through the first two minutes of the quarter but the Cajuns ended that stretch with a basket from Doucet. LSU answered with a quick 5-0 run, but Fields continued her strong first half, going strong to the basket with a layup to bring the score to 22-17 LSU.
Another quick 5-0 run from LSU was again stopped short by a great defensive play from Goodwin when, at the 4:30 mark, she jumped a pass on the left side and went coast-to-coast finishing with a layup to again pull the Cajuns with six points (25-19).
The two teams then traded baskets in the final minutes of the quarter, and a final basket from Fields, giving her 10 points in the first half, meant that the Cajuns only trailed by six points heading into the locker room with the score sitting at 27-21 with LSU holding the lead.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Third Quarter): Through the first two minutes of action only a LSU basket from Shanice Norton added to the score for either side. But the Cajuns maintained their discipline on defense drawing a charge one and a half minutes into the quarter that led to a drive and layup from sophomore Malachi-Seraphin Williams to put the score at 29-23 with LSU still holding a six-point lead.
As the quarter went along the Cajuns wouldn't let the Tigers pull away by more than nine points, and the strong presence the Cajuns showed on the court meant that halfway through the quarter Louisiana was in the bonus.
That strong presence on the court extended to their defense as they held LSU to 2 for 10 from the field through the last three minutes of the quarter, and a big charge from Howard, with 55 second left in the quarter, led directly to sophomore Brittney Myles nailing a layup. A free throw from LSU meant they extended their lead to only six points and as the quarter ended the Tigers led 41-35.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Fourth Quarter): Both teams traded baskets through the first two minutes of the quarter and the Cajuns still only trailed by six points at the 8:08 mark of the quarter. But LSU again put a run on the Cajuns and this time they got the lead over 10 points getting their first double digit lead of the game at the 6:42 mark of the quarter.
Louisiana didn't go away quietly and they cut back into the Tigers lead, getting the score to 50-43 at the 4:05 mark of the quarter by a jump shot from Doucet.
But a technical foul called on Cajuns head coach Garry Brodhead meant that LSU could again stretch their lead, and after the free throws they went on a 10-2 run to finish the game and when the final whistle blew the Tigers won the game with a final score of 60-45.
NOTEWORTHY: It's the second straight game, third in the last four, that Fields scored in double digits; The 10 points for Doucet is a career high; It's the second straight game that the Cajuns outrebounded their opponent (38-37).
UP NEXT FOR THE CAJUNS: Louisiana returns to the Cajundome for the fourth-annual education game, on Wednesday, Dec. 20, for one final tune up before they begin conference season when they host the Alcorn State Lady Braves in a matinée game with tip scheduled for 11 a.m.
The Cajuns then finish off the calendar year by kicking off Sun Belt Conference play by making the Arkansas swing. They'll start conference play in Little Rock, Ark., on Dec. 29 with their game against the Little Rock Trojans starting at 5 p.m.
After that Louisiana will ring in the new year by heading to Jonesboro, Ark., to face off with the Arkansas State Red Wolves on Dec. 31 with that game scheduled for a 1 p.m. tip.
FOLLOWING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS: Follow the Cajuns on twitter @RaginCajunsWBB for updates on the team, and links to stats and other things Ragin' Cajuns as the team prepares to kick off the conference season.