NEW ORLEANS — With its lead down to three points late in the game, Louisiana dug deep and hit five clutch free throws in the final minute to stave off New Orleans’ fourth-quarter rally and secure a 65-60 victory at Lakefront Arena on Thursday night.
Entering the night ranked 11th in the nation in made free throws, the Ragin’ Cajuns buried 14 against the Privateers to improve their season total to 88.
With the win, Louisiana (4-1) notched its first road triumph of the young season and has now won three-straight games. The team also secured its seventh-straight victory over New Orleans.
Junior Ty’Reona Doucet recorded her second double-double of the year and the 14th of her career with 21 points and 12 rebounds against the Privateers, while adding three blocks and three steals.
Brandi Williams matched Doucet’s point total with 21 of her own, her second-straight game eclipsing the 20-point mark, and added three boards and two steals. Jasmine Thomas was Louisiana’s next highest scorer, adding six points.
The Ragin’ Cajuns could not have asked for a better start offensively after giving up an early 3-pointer, outscoring the Privateers 18-5 over the final 8:58 of the first period on the back of six points apiece from Williams and Doucet.
Williams put Louisiana in a great position early in the second quarter, driving through the lane and laying the ball home to send the team ahead, 23-8, at the 7:34 mark. However, New Orleans (2-3) stormed back to close out the half, outscoring the Ragin’ Cajuns, 15-6, to cut the lead to 29-23 at the break.
Louisiana enjoyed a 9-2 run over a six minute span in the third quarter to push the lead back into double digits (44-29) before a three-point play by UNO snapped the streak. The play gave the Privateers a much-needed spark to cut the lead to 45-37 with 10 minutes to play.
After a back-and-forth opening five minutes of play, the hosts put together another 9-2 run late in the contest to cut the lead to 57-53 with 1:22 remaining. After two missed Louisiana free throws, New Orleans pulled as close as 63-60 with seven seconds to play before Williams sealed the 65-60 victory by converting two free throws.
Louisiana wraps up its five-game Southland Conference swing on Monday, Nov. 25, when it travels to Beaumont, Texas, to square off with Lamar. Tipoff from the Montagne Center is slated for 7 p.m.
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