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Cajuns Open Up Home SBC Play With Carolina Schools

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Cajuns Women's Basketball Huddle at Texas A&M Cajuns Women's Basketball Huddle at Texas A&M


LAFAYETTE – After splitting the Arkansas swing to open up the first weekend of Sun Belt Conference play, the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns women's basketball team welcomes to the Cajundome the Carolina schools, starting with the Appalachian State Mountaineers on Thursday, Jan. 4, at 5 p.m. and the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers on Saturday, Jan. 6 with that tip scheduled for a 4 p.m. start.
Louisiana enters the weekend 6-8 (1-1 SBC), and it's the second straight season that the Cajuns start their home conference play having split the Arkansas trip.  Oddly enough last season the Cajuns did the same thing they did this year, losing to Little Rock and beating Arkansas State.
All-time the Cajuns are 3-2 against App State, and it's only the third time the Mountaineers have made the trip to the Cajundome, and the first since Jan. 2, 2016.  As for Coastal Carolina, the Cajuns are 1-1 all-time against the Chanticleers and it's the first time that Coastal has made the trip to the Cajundome in school history.
App State brings a 2-11 (0-2 SBC) record into the weekend and after playing the Cajuns on Thursday will make the three-hour drive north to face off with ULM.  As for Coastal Carolina, they opened their conference play sweeping the Texas schools at home and they bring an 8-5 (2-0 SBC) record into the weekend and they'll play ULM on Thursday night before heading down to Lafayette to take on the Cajuns.

CAJUNS SPLIT ARKANSAS: For the second straight season Louisiana opened up their conference play with the Arkansas swing, and in a repeat of the previous season's trip, the Cajuns split the trip, losing to Little Rock, 78-43, before bouncing back to beat Arkansas State, 77-75, to start the season conference season 1-1.
At Little Rock, in a physical game, the Cajuns dropped their conference opener to the Trojans.  The Trojans had entered the game shooting 38 percent through the first two months of the season, but against the Cajuns they opened things up and shot 53 percent from the field to score 23 points above their season average. 
Louisiana then bounced back with a hard-fought win at the First National Bank Arena in Jonesboro, to earn their first conference win of the season.  In the game, senior Nekia Jones came out the gate blazing hot, hitting five three-pointers in the first quarter, which ties a school record for three-pointers in a quarter (Jaylyn Gordon nailed five in the second quarter of the Cajuns 71-52 win over ULM on Dec. 3, 2015).
Jones finished the game with a career high 25 points, while the Cajuns as a whole were clutch down the stretch hitting their free throws to maintain their small but strong lead over Arkansas State until the final whistle. 

TWO FROM 100: Louisiana head coach Garry Brodhead enters the weekend with 98 career wins, just two away from 100 in his career.  Having entered the season sitting at 92 wins, the Cajuns all-time leader in wins would become the first women's basketball coach in school history to reach the century mark and the seventh coach in Cajuns' history to reach the mark in both men's and women's basketball.

CAJUNS CONTINUE TO CRASH THE BOARDS: After 14 games the Cajuns are rebounding defensively at 69 percent and they have grabbed 359 defensive boards.  That stats ranks the Cajuns second in the conference in defensive rebounding percentage.

FIELDS CRACKS THE TOP-10: With a basket in the third quarter against Little Rock, on Dec. 29, senior Simone Fields scored her 1,092nd points, passing Yolanda Jones to gain sole possession of the 10th spot on the Cajuns all-time scoring list.  She enters the weekend with 1,107 points which puts her 85 points away from tying Alyson Habetz for ninth all-time on the Cajuns scoring list.

WHAT THE MOUNTAINEERS BRING: App State comes in on a three-game losing streak, and they're scoring only 54.5 points per game while giving up 67.4 points per game to their opponents.  The Mountaineers are shooting 36 percent on the season, and only 27 percent from three-point range.  While opponents are shooting 40 percent against App State, 31 percent from beyond the arc.
App State sits in the bottom three of eight categories in the conference, scoring offense (11th, 54.5 ppg); scoring margin (11th, -12.9); free throw percentage (12th, 57 percent); field goal percentages (11th, 36 percent); three-point field goal percentage (10th, 27 percent); steals (12th, 5.4 spg); turnover margin (11th, -5.8) and assist/turnover ratio (10th, 0.6).
Tierra Wilson is the lone Mountaineer averaging in double figures with 10.8 points per game, and she's shooting 32 percent from the field.  One bright spot on the Mountaineers is Bayley Plummer, she's been a beast on the boards and she's averaging 12.5 rebounds per game which places her fifth in Division I.

WHAT THE CHANTICLEERS BRING: Coastal enters the weekend with a three-game winning streak and they'll first face off with ULM on Thursday before coming into the Cajundome.  Offensively the Chants have been scoring the ball well, averaging 64.7 points per game, while holding their opponents to under 60 points per game (58.2 ppg). 
They've shot the ball well through the first two months of the season, shooting 40 percent as a team, while their opponents have only shot 35 percent against the Chants defense.  Coastal has crashed the boards strong as well, averaging 43.4 rebounds per game, giving them a +8.0-rebounding margin with opponents rebounding at 35.4 percent.  Coastal ranks third in the conference in scoring defense (58.2 ppg); third in field goal percentages (40 percent); second in defensive field goal percentage (35 percent) and first in rebounding margin (+8.0).
Jas Adams, who has won the past two SBC Player of the Week awards, comes in averaging 19.2 points per game, which leads the conference overall in scoring.  Adams also leads the conference in minutes played, with 479, at an average of 36.8 minutes per game.  DJ Williams joins her teammate in scoring double figures, as she's averaging 15.1 points per game, which is good enough to place her sixth in the conference.  Where Williams excels is moving the ball and her 58 assists (4.5 per game) places her second in the conference in assists.

HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN TO THE GAME: If you can't make it out to the Cajundome for the early tip, both games will be streamed for free on the Ragin' Cajuns Digital Network with Dan McDonald handling the play-by-play duties.  On the radio, ESPN 1420 will carry both games with Steve Peloquin calling the game, with the pregame against App State starting at 4­­:40 p.m. and the pregame against Coastal starting at 3:40 p.m.

CLEAR BAG POLICY/PARKING/TICKETS: In the interest of public safety and following the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) Best Practices Guide, the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Athletics Department is implementing a clear bag policy at all venues that host ticketed or non-ticketed events effective with the 2017-18 competition season. Information about this new policy can be found by visiting www.RaginCajuns.com/clearbag.

PARKING RULES: As for parking, since the game is a double-header with the men, parking is not free around the dome.  Only RCAF members with a parking pass will be allowed to park in the lots surrounding the dome.  All fans attending the game that don't have an RCAF pass are being asked to park across the street in the Cajun Field lot.  There is a pedestrian tunnel that will allow fans to cross underneath Cajundome Blvd., and walk up to the front entrance of the Cajundome.

FOLLOWING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS: Follow the Cajuns on twitter @RaginCajunsWBB, for updates during the game, along with links to live stats, the streaming and the radio broadcast of the game.  Links to the recap will also be posted on twitter post game as well.

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