SAN MARCOS, TEXAS – 19 points from senior Troi Swain and a great defensive showing gave the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns women's basketball team a big road Sun Belt Conference win over the Texas State Bobcats, 65-58, here at the Strahan Coliseum.
The win improves the Cajuns record to 10-9 (5-2 SBC) and it gives them a split on the Texas road trip. While the loss drops the Bobcats record to 12-7 (5-3 SBC).
Louisiana held Texas State to just about 13 points under their season scoring average of 71 points per game and they kept the Bobcats to 31 percent shooting which is 10 percent lower than what they've been shooting so far through this season.
Senior Nekia Jones joined Swain in double-digit scoring adding 18 points of her own to the mix. On the boards the Cajuns were strong, finishing with 44 rebounds, and they were led there by sophomores Kimberly Burton (nine) and Jasmine Thomas (eight), along with freshman Skyler Goodwin grabbing seven rebounds of her own.
HOW IT HAPPENED (First Quarter): The first quarter, was the Troi Swain show as she scored 10 points for the Cajuns on 4 for 6 shooting from the field, 2 for 3 from beyond the arc. While Swain was draining shots the Cajuns where protecting the paint as Burton and Goodwin each grabbed four rebounds in the quarter. As the final four minutes rolled along the Cajuns trailed by four points but they started to take control of things as a 9-2 run powered them down the stretch and put them into the lead.
Fittingly Swain started the run at the 3:44 mark of the quarter and she hit the final basket of the quarter for the Cajuns at the 55 second mark. A shot under 30 seconds from the Bobcats ended the 9-0 run for the Cajuns but the damage had been done as Louisiana took a three-point lead into the second quarter with the score sitting at 16-13.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Second Quarter): Senior Simone Fields came out strong to start the second quarter scoring the Cajuns first two baskets as the Cajuns continued to put a lid on the basket for the Bobcats. After holding Texas State to 29 percent in the first quarter the Cajuns again kept Texas State to under 29 percent in the second period as well.
An 8-0 run midway through the period, powered by a three-point shot from Jones and Swain helped the Cajuns extend their lead to eight points. A late attempt from the Bobcats to cut into that lead before the half was met by a counter-punching Cajuns offense that wrapped up the half with a 5-2 run take an eight-point lead into the locker room with the score sitting at 33-25.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Third Quarter): Louisiana stretched their lead to a game high 12 points on two baskets from Jones and sophomore Malachi-Seraphin Williams to put the score at 37-25 within the first minute and a half of the quarter. Texas State tried to cut back into the lead with a few baskets of their own but several baskets through the middle portion of the quarter, but right after they cut the lead down to eight points, Jones put a stop to the Bobcats run with a three-point basket and it sent the on a 6-0 run.
Both teams traded free throws, and Texas State hit a basket with three seconds left, but the Cajuns still held a double-digit lead staying up by 10 points as the game moved into the final period with the score sitting at 45-35.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Fourth Quarter): Texas State finally woke up three minutes into the quarter, with a 7-0 run from the 5:49 that went to the 2:21 mark of the quarter to cut the Cajuns lead to five points. It meant that down the stretch Louisiana had to dig deep to come away with the big win.
With 1 minute left in the game, and the score sitting at 55-48 after a Jones layup a minute prior, Texas State began to send the Cajuns to the line in an attempt to extend the game. But the Cajuns answered the call, going 10-12 from the line down the stretch to ice the game and finish off a big road conference win. When the final whistle blew Louisiana was sitting on top by seven points and the final score read 65-58.
NOTEWORTHY: Thomas (eight) and Goodwin (seven) each had career highs in rebounds; The 44 rebounds the Cajuns had were the most they've had in conference play so far this season.
UP NEXT FOR THE CAJUNS: Louisiana returns to the Cajundome for their final home stand in the month of January, when on Thursday, Jan. 25 the South Alabama Jaguars visit the Dome. And they'll wrap up the weekend on Saturday, Jan. 27 when the Troy Trojans visit Lafayette for a game that's also the 2018 Women's Basketball Reunion Game.
FOLLOWING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS: Follow the Cajuns on twitter @RaginCajunsWBB for updates during the game and links to game recaps and ways to follow upcoming games.