LAFAYETTE – Despite holding the Troy Trojans, the Sun Belt Conference's top offense, to 21 points below their average, the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns women's basketball team couldn't get their own shots to fall and they lost here at the Cajundome, 62-55.
The loss, the Cajuns second in a row, drops their record to 10-11 (5-4 SBC), while the Trojans are now on a three-game winning streak and their record improves to 10-10 (5-4 SBC).
Sophomore Malachi-Seraphin Williams led the Cajuns in scoring with 14 points, the only Cajuns player to finish in double figures, as she shot 5 for 11 from the field. Sophomore Jasmine Thomas and senior Troi Swain each finished with eight points and sophomore Kimberly Burton led the Cajuns for the third straight game, finishing with seven rebounds.
HOW IT HAPPENED (First Quarter): Troy entered the game averaging 82.9 points per game, which put them as the not only the best scoring team in the Sun Belt, but they're the 16th best scoring team in the nation. Louisiana's defensive effort was on display from the beginning as they held the Trojans to nine points in the first quarter.
Thomas, making her first start of the season, came out of the gate on fire, scoring the first seven points of the game for the Cajuns. While Swain played a big part of the Cajuns strong defense as they slowed down Troy and kept them from getting their offense going.
The Cajuns took a 10-point lead into the second quarter, with the end of the first quarter score sitting at 19-9.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Second Quarter): A 10-2 run to start the second quarter by Troy, significantly cut into the Cajuns 10-point lead, but the run was ended by a three-point basket from freshman Skyler Goodwin. And at 3:20 left in the quarter the Cajuns still held a six-point lead with the score sitting at 24-18.
But the Trojans kept the pressure on and the Cajuns poor shooting in the quarter, they shot 15 percent, held back Louisiana's chances of extending their lead. But they stayed tough and the Cajuns held onto a two point lead heading into halftime with the score sitting at 24-22.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Third Quarter): Troy began to cut into the Cajuns lead from the start of the quarter, and as the clock sit at 5:14 the Cajuns held a one-point lead with the score sitting at 31-30. Both teams then began a back and forth adventure, with the lead trading hands six times as the quarter rolled into the final two minutes.
But Troy pieced together a 7-2 run, that started with 1:21 left in the quarter to take a four-point lead into the fourth quarter. The final two points did come from Louisiana, on two free throws from Troi Swain, but when the period came to an end the score sat at 42-38 with Troy on top.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Fourth Quarter): Through the first five minutes of the period, the Cajuns forced the Trojans to turn the ball over five times, including getting back-to-back steals from Burton. During that stretch the Cajuns climbed all the way back, taking the lead at the 3:30 point of the quarter, with the score sitting at 50-49. But Troy flipped the script and they went on an 8-0 over a minute and a half period to go ahead by seven points. With the score sitting at 57-50, and two minutes left in the game, Louisiana didn't have enough time to get back into it as Troy hit their free throws down the stretch.
The Trojans' 8-0 run was enough for them to close the game out and the Cajuns lost their second straight with the final score sitting at 62-55.
NOTEWORTHY: Thomas made her first start of the season; Ty' Reonne Doucet finished with three blocks, which are the most blocks by any Cajuns player so far this season in any game and a career high for Doucet.
UP NEXT FOR THE CAJUNS: The Cajuns hit the road for their next game as they travel up north to Monroe, La. for a noon matchup against ULM on Saturday, Feb. 3. They'll then hit the road again the following weekend when they head off to Georgia to take on Georgia State on Feb. 8 and they wrap up the road trip by heading to Georgia Southern on Feb. 10.