LAFAYETTE – A strong effort from Louisiana Women’s Basketball (2-8) was not enough to beat in-state foe Louisiana State (7-3) as the Ragin’ Cajuns lost 76-54, Thursday night at the CAJUNDOME.
Sophomore guard Skyler Goodwin finished with 12 points to lead Louisiana in scoring, as the Ragin’ Cajuns finished with three in double-figures, with sophomore center Ty’Reona Doucet (11 points) and freshman guard Diamond Morrison (10 points). Louisiana held Louisiana State to under 40 percent shooting from the field during the first half, but a strong shooting second half, helped Louisiana State pull away from Louisiana over the final two periods.
HOW IT HAPPENED (First Half): Louisiana defense was strong to start the game, and they held Louisiana State to 35 percent shooting from the field, with Doucet coming out scoring four points over the first 10 minutes of the game. During the period Louisiana twice tied things up, with a layup from Doucet at 1:59 knotting things up at 10-10 and two free throws from junior forward Kendall Bess tying it at 12-12 at 1:24.
During the final minute, Louisiana State hit a three-point basket to take break the tie for what would be the last time the game would be tied, and the Lady Tigers led 15-12 heading into the second quarter.
Louisiana hung with Louisiana State through the first six-plus minutes of the quarter, cutting the Lady Tigers’ lead to two points twice, once at the 8:03 mark on a three-point basket from freshman guard Andrea Cournoyer and again a few minutes later on a layup from Doucet with 6:43 left in the period. But a quick 7-2 run by Louisiana State pushed its lead to eight points, 28-20, with 3:12 to go in the half and despite Louisiana attempting to cut into that lead over the final three minutes, Louisiana State took a 31-23 lead into the break.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Second Half): The third period is where Louisiana State pulled away from Louisiana for good, shooting 53 percent during the period, and hitting a 9-0 run during the first six minutes of the period. Louisiana did come out and cut the lead to four points, capped off by a three-point basket from Morrison at the 8:38 mark to make it 32-28, but Ayana Mitchell hit a layup shortly after that and sparked Louisiana State’s 9-0 run over the next minute.
Doucet hit a pair of free throws at the 5:58 mark to break the run, but Louisiana State answered with another quick 7-0 run and by the time Goodwin broke the run with a layup at the 4:06 mark, Louisiana State was up 48-32. Louisiana would not get the lead under 10 points for the remainder of the quarter and the Lady Tigers entered the final period up 54-41.
A 69 percent shooting performance by Louisiana State in the fourth period was more than enough for the Lady Tigers to hold off Louisiana’s strong effort through the period. During the first few minutes Louisiana worked hard to attempt to cut the Louisiana State lead to under 10 points, with Goodwin hitting a three-point basket with 8:45 to go, but at the 6:00 minute mark Louisiana State pushed its lead to over 20 points and the Ragin’ Cajuns would not cut the deficit to under 20 points for the remainder of the game.
When the final buzzer rang, Louisiana State had come away with the 76-54 win.
GAME NOTES: For the eighth time this season, Louisiana had at least three players finish scoring in double-figures.
UP NEXT FOR THE CAJUNS: Louisiana hits the road for one last non-conference game when the Ragin’ Cajuns head to Starkville, Miss., to face No. 4 Mississippi State on Dec. 30. Tip is scheduled for 2 p.m. and the game will be televised on the SEC Network Plus and broadcast on ESPN1420.
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.