MOBILE, Ala. – 10th seeded Louisiana Women’s Basketball (7-22, 5-13 SBC) hop back on the road to start its trek for a conference title, with a first round Sun Belt Conference Women’s Basketball Championships match up at seventh seeded South Alabama (20-9, 9-9 SBC) on Monday, March 11 with tip scheduled for 7 p.m.
A win by Louisiana in the first-round game would send the Ragin’ Cajuns to New Orleans, La., for a second-round game against the sixth seeded Texas State Bobcats. That game, which will be played at the Lakefront Arena, is set for a 2 p.m. tip on Wednesday, March 13.
HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN/FOLLOW: Monday’s game will be broadcast on ESPN+, and a link to the broadcast can be found on the Louisiana Women’s Basketball schedule page. Steve Peloquin will handle the radio call, with the game being broadcast on TalkRadio 960AM. Live stats will be provided by the South Alabama Athletic Department and a link to the live stats can be found on the Louisiana Women’s Basketball schedule page.
PREVIEWING THE GAME: Louisiana and South Alabama will meet in the Sun Belt Conference Women’s Basketball Championships for only the fourth time, with the first having been in 2008, and South Alabama holds a 3-0 advantage against Louisiana. The first matchup between Louisiana and South Alabama in the conference tournament came at the Mitchell Center in 2008, and the other two meetings (2010, 2011) were in Hot Springs, Ark., at the Summit Arena.
South Alabama won the only time that Louisiana and South Alabama met this season, winning 83-60 on Jan. 24 in Mobile, Ala. All-time this will be the 55th meeting between the two sides with South Alabama holding a 38-16 advantage.
REVIEWING THE PREVIOUS GAME: Louisiana rallied late but could not complete the fourth quarter comeback against Arkansas State, falling 75-73, in the regular season finale at the CAJUNDOME on Saturday, March 9. The first three quarters were a back-and-forth affair, but in the first half of the fourth quarter Arkansas State built a nine-point lead on the Ragin’ Cajuns. Over the final five minutes, Louisiana crawled back into the game and with 35 seconds left freshman guard Andrea Cournoyer hit a deep three-point shot to tie the game at 73-73.
The Red Wolves ended Louisiana’s comeback with a pair of free throws, following Cournoyer’s three-point basket, to end the season with a 75-73 win.
Sophomore center Ty’Reona Doucet led the team in scoring with 16 points, while Williams and sophomore guard Joymra Mathis added 14 points apiece. Cournoyer dropped 12 points of her own to give Louisiana four scorers in double figures for the first time since Feb. 9 at Georgia State.
WILLIAMS PASSES A LEGEND: Williams, entered the game against Little Rock, with 354 points scored on the season, which put her tied with the late great Kim Perrot, for the most points scored by a freshman in program history. Williams hit a layup at the 7:20 mark of the first quarter to pass Perrot, and now Williams currently sits at 377 points on the season.
OWNING THE CHARITY STRIPE: Williams has been a force at the charity stripe during her freshman season, shooting a Sun Belt Conference best 87 percent from the line (121-of-138) and she is on pace to break the current school record of 82 percent set by Anna Petrakova during the 2003-04 season when she went 127-of-155 from the line. Williams also sits 19th nationally in free throw percentage, and inside the Top-20 Williams has attempted the fourth-most free throws in the country.
COURNOYER BUZZES DEFENSES: Cournoyer has been a thorn in the side of opposing defenses, snagging a team-high 54 steals, for an average of 1.9 spg. placing her sixth in the conference.
MATHIS DISHES IT OUT: Mathis has been moving the ball well, averaging 2.5 assists per game during that stretch.
WILLIAMS HAS IMPRESSED: Williams has been impressive through 29 games, she is averaging 13.0 points per game, tying her for the team lead, while shooting .441 percent from the field. The 13.0 ppg., makes Williams is the leading scorer among freshmen in the Sun Belt Conference.
HIGH FLYING FRESHMEN: Williams and Cournoyer have been scoring machines over 18 conference games, with Williams and Cournoyer both averaging high figures in Sun Belt play. Williams is averaging 14.7 ppg., and AC is averaging 10.1 points per game making Williams one and Cournoyer second in the conference for freshmen in terms of scoring.
LOUISIANA FRESHMEN HAVE BEEN KEY: Louisiana’s four freshmen have played key parts on the court over the Ragin’ Cajuns’ 29 games played so far. Louisiana’s freshmen have averaged 30.1 points per game total, which is just under half of the 62.0 points per game that Louisiana is averaging as a team and the four freshmen are shooting .379 percent playing a key part the team shooting percentage of .396.
WHAT THE JAGUARS BRING: South Alabama heads into the matchup with Louisiana having lost four out of its last five, including its previous game, on Saturday, Mar. 9, against Appalachian State, falling 59-50 to slide into the seventh seed.
The Jags sit right in the heart of the Sun Belt Conference in both scoring offense (sixth) and scoring defense (fifth). Where the Jaguars do struggle is at the charity stripe, sitting dead last in the conference, shooting only .549 percent from the line.
Defensively South Alabama leads the Sun Belt in field goal percentage defense and three-point field goal percentage defense. What helps the Jaguars defend the shot so well is the fact that they are averaging 4.1 blocked shots per game, a conference best, and that puts them 64th in the nation in bpg.
South Alabama has three who are averaging double digits in scoring, with Savannah Jones leading the way averaging 15.1 points per game, Antoinette Lewis is scoring 14.1 points per game and Shaforia Kines rounds out South Alabama’s top scorers with 12.1 points per game.
Jones’ 15.1 ppg., ranks her fourth in the conference and Lewis’ 14.2 ppg., ranks her 10th giving South Alabama two scorers in the Sun Belt top-10.
Lewis leads the conference in field goal percentage, .572 percent, and blocked shots (1.8 bpg.). She also sits third in the conference in rebounding, averaging 9.0 rebounds per game. Kines ranks third in the Sun Belt in assist/turnover ratio, with a ratio of 1.7.
TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE: Both season tickets and individual game tickets for Louisiana Women’s Basketball are available for purchase by either heading to ragincajuns.com/tickets or by calling the Louisiana Athletics Ticket Office at the CAJUNDOME, (337) 265-2357, or by visiting the office in person.
FOLLOWING THE RAGIN’ CAJUNS: Follow the Ragin’ Cajuns on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (@RaginCajunsWBB) to stay up-to-date with Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Women’s Basketball.