LAFAYETTE – A fourth quarter charge by Louisiana Women’s Basketball (2-6, 0-0 SBC) was not enough to overtake the Sam Houston State Bearkats (5-3, 0-0 SLC) as the Ragin’ Cajuns fell 68-62, Saturday afternoon at the CAJUNDOME.
Freshman guard Brandi Williams finished with a team-high 14 points on 4-for-10 shooting, scoring nine points in the fourth quarter to help Louisiana crawl back into the game, while sophomore guard Skyler Goodwin added 13 points on 6-for-16 shooting to give Louisiana two scorers in double-digits. Redshirt-freshman forward Kristen Daniels and junior forward Kendall Bess made their Louisiana debuts in the game, with Daniels making an impact every time she was on the court.
HOW IT HAPPENED (First Half): Sam Houston State took an early five-point lead, when Jaylonn Walker hit a layup to make it 10-5 at the five-minute mark of the first quarter. But Louisiana stuck with the Bearkats and after Walker hit a three-point basket with two minutes to go in the period the Ragin’ Cajuns went on a 6-0 run, kickstarted by junior guard Caroline Rivera’s mid-range jump shot at the 1:43 mark of the quarter.
Sophomore guard Jomyra Mathis tied things at 19-19 with 27 seconds to go when she hit a pull-up jump shot, but a buzzer beating three-point basket by Jenniffer Oramas gave Sam Houston State a 22-19 lead at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter Sam Houston State would see its lead pushed to double-digits, hitting the 10-point mark on a Lydia Baxter layup with 3:25 to go. Roughly a minute later Sam Houston State, on another Baxter basket, took a game-high 12-point lead with 2:30 to go in the half.
Louisiana finished the half on a quick 4-0 run, with freshman forward Jazmyn Womack and Williams each hitting baskets over the final two minutes, and the run cut Sam Houston State’s halftime lead to single digits with the Bearkats taking a 36-30 lead into the break.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Second Half): Through the first five minutes of the third quarter, Louisiana and Sam Houston State traded baskets, with the Bearkats’ lead bouncing back-and-forth from eight points to 10 over the stretch. Twice over the final three minutes of the period, Sam Houston State would push its lead back to 12, but with one-minute left and Sam Houston State up 50-38, Louisiana scored the last three points of the quarter and the Ragin’ Cajuns would take that run into the fourth quarter.
Powered by freshman guard Andrea Cournoyer’s three-point basket to start the fourth quarter, Louisiana went on a 14-2 run, stretching from the third quarter, and the Ragin’ Cajuns quickly did away with Sam Houston State’s double-digit lead. Louisiana took its first lead of the game with two free throws from Williams, and with 4:02 left in the game the Ragin’ Cajuns led 54-52.
Both teams traded the lead over a three-minute stretch, with Williams hitting a three at the 2:03 mark to tie things up at 59-59. But Sam Houston State stayed with Louisiana and with 57 seconds left, the Bearkats led 64-62. Down the stretch Sam Houston State would hit its free throws and that would be enough for the Bearkats to come away with the 68-62 win over Louisiana.
GAME NOTES: Daniels played 16 minutes, scored seven points (3-for-6) and grabbed five rebounds in her first collegiate action; Bess saw 11 minutes of action and grabbed one board and had one assist in her first action in a Louisiana uniform; Goodwin has now scored at least 10 points in two of the last three games (13 vs. AMCC, 13 vs. SHSU).
UP NEXT FOR THE CAJUNS: Louisiana once again hits the road in its next game, with a midweek trip to Oxford, Miss., to take on the Ole Miss Rebels on Wednesday, Dec. 12 with that game scheduled for a 11 a.m. tip. The game will be televised on the SEC Network Plus and broadcast on ESPN1420 with Steve Peloquin handling the broadcast duties.
TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE: Both season tickets and individual 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.