MOBILE, Ala. – Freshman Jomyra Mathis snagged a big rebound with 6.7 seconds left and her two free throws on the other end iced the, 59-56, Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns women's basketball team's exciting win over the South Alabama Jaguars at the Mitchell Center Saturday night.
The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Cajuns and it evened out their record at 14-14 (9-7 SBC) while for the Jaguars it was their sixth loss in seven games and their record drops to 16-11 (9-7 SBC).
Mathis finished with six points and a career high six rebounds, while freshman Ty'Reonne Doucet scored a team high 15 points, while adding five boards of her own to lead the way for Louisiana. Senior Troi Swain added eight points and eight rebounds and sophomore Kimberly Burton grabbed five boards (seven points) to help the Cajuns outrebound (42-35) and outscore the Jaguars in the paint (32-22) for a win in their final road game of the season.
HOW IT HAPPENED (First Quarter): South Alabama came out on a 6-2 run to jump on the Cajuns early, but Louisiana was ready as they responded with back-to-back baskets from sophomore Brittney Myles and Mathis things then went a bit back and forth between the two teams.
Neither team could take control of the quarter, but Doucet did have herself a quarter. She finished with six points and three rebounds in the period as the Cajuns finished on an 8-2 run, powered by senior Simone Fields scoring four off the bench and Louisiana holding South Alabama to 2 for 10 from the field. The Cajuns took a six-point lead into the second quarter with the score at 20-14.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Second Quarter): South Alabama came out on a 6-0 run to tie things up at 20-20, but Doucet was there again as she ended the run with a layup at the 7:21 mark of the quarter. Both teams traded leads, with the game getting tied up for the fifth time (26-26) when the clock hit the 1:50 mark.
Over the final two minutes, South Alabama attempted to head into the locker room with a decent sized lead, and they hit a three-point basket along with a layup to go up 31-28 with just under 40 seconds to go. But Burton seized an opportunity to cut into that lead, and she followed her own miss right back kissing one off the glass as the clock ticked near zero to pull the Cajuns within one point.
When the teams entered the locker room, the Cajuns had a ten-point advantage in the paint (24-14) and they trailed the Jaguars by one point, 31-30 after two quarters of play.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Third Quarter): Sophomore Malachi-Seraphin Williams came out and nailed a basket from downtown and Burton added a layup to put the Cajuns up by four within the first two and a half minutes. But the Cajuns would go cold from the field over the next five minutes of the quarter, only getting points from the line during the stretch.
But South Alabama couldn't take advantage of the Cajuns cold shooting and the points scored at the line allowed the Cajuns to keep South Alabama within arm's length. And with one and a half minutes left in the period the Cajuns were down by only one point when Doucet ended the run with a layup.
Freshman Skyler Goodwin then hit back-to-back baskets to power the Cajuns to a 3 for 3 finish from the field to end the quarter, and both teams went tick for tack down the final minute of the quarter and as the game entered the final period the game was tied for a seventh time, 45-45.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Fourth Quarter): Louisiana pushed their lead to five points with two quick back-to-back shots made by Swain and with six minutes to go the Cajuns went up 51-46. Attempts by South Alabama to cut into the lead were met by the Cajuns answering their baskets and when the clock hit 2:30 Mathis spun around a defender and hit a floating jumper to put the Cajuns up by seven points, 56-49.
But the cold bug again bit the Cajuns, as Louisiana would fail to hit another shot from the field in the game and things got dicey down the stretch. With 44 seconds left in the game, both teams traded free throws and it was 57-54 in favor of the Cajuns. South Alabama came down the floor and followed their own miss with a basket to pull within one point, 57-56.
Heartbreak almost struck the Cajuns as Mathis mishandled the inbound pass right in front of the Cajuns bench to turn it right back over to the Jaguars. Mathis, who was visibly upset over her mistake, saw fit to make up in a big way. The Jags came back down the court and attempted a shot from beyond the arc with seven seconds left. But it clanked off the right side of the rim where Mathis came flying in to forcefully grab the board and draw the foul.
Mathis then went to the line with a chance to put the Cajuns up by three, and she didn't disappoint as the freshman nailed both from the line to force the Jags to make another attempt at a three-point basket to tie. South Alabama's last-ditch effort from three, failed to find its target and Fields snagged the board to end the game with the Cajuns coming away with the win 59-56.
NOTEWORTHY: Doucet's 15 points was one off her career high; Six rebounds for Mathis is a career high; Swain's eight rebounds ties a career high; It's the fourth straight game where the Cajuns had fewer turnovers then their opponents; The Cajuns outscored South Alabama 32-22 in the paint.
UP NEXT FOR THE CAJUNS: Louisiana returns to the Cajundome for the final weekend of the 2017-18 regular season when they host Arkansas State on Thursday, Mar. 1 and they'll wrap up the regular season on senior night by hosting Little Rock on Saturday, Mar. 3.
FOLLOWING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS: Follow the Cajuns on twitter @RaginCajunsWBB for updates during the games, links to live stats, live streams and the recap following the games action.