LAFAYETTE (Press Release) – A big third quarter, and a huge night from sophomore center Ty’Reona Doucet helped Louisiana Women’s Basketball (6-14, 4-5 SBC) to an exciting 73-55 win over the Appalachian State Mountaineers (10-9, 4-4 SBC), Thursday night at the CAJUNDOME.
Doucet finished with a game-high 28 points and 15 rebounds, just missing tying her career-high in points by one and freshman guard Brandi Williams had a strong night shooting, finishing 5-for-7 from the field with 16 points, to lead Louisiana to victory.
Where Louisiana locked up its victory was in the third quarter, where the Ragin’ Cajuns outscored Appalachian State 24-6, and Louisiana’s defense held App State to 1-for-12 from the field in a defensive showcase. Overall the Ragin’ Cajuns held the Mountaineers to 36 percent shooting from the field, and 20 percent from beyond the arc in a night where defense truly led to offense.
IT HAPPENED (First Half): The first quarter, much like the first half, was a back and forth affair with both sides trading leads throughout the quarter. Doucet started her torrid night with 12 points in the first quarter, and she scored 10 out of Louisiana’s first 12 points over the first five minutes of the first quarter.
The remainder of the period Williams added to Doucet’s scoring and the two helped Louisiana keep pace with App State’s Madi Story who kept scoring herself for App State. A three-point basket from Nicola Mathews with 49 seconds left gave the Mountaineers a 21-20 lead but Louisiana had a chance to take the lead, gaining the final possession. Junior forward Kendall Bess hit a buzzer beating layup to give Louisiana a 22-21 lead heading into the second quarter, setting the tone for the night.
Much like the first quarter, both sides traded leads throughout the quarter, and the game was tied three times throughout the period. Back-to-back baskets from App State’s Bayley Plummer during the fifth minute gave App State a four-point lead with 5:38 to go in the quarter.
But freshman guard Diamond Morrison nailed a three to pull Louisiana back within one, 30-29, and from there both teams began trading punches over the final five minutes. With 31 seconds remaining, Doucet hit a layup and drew the foul, converting the old fashioned three-point play at the free throw line to give Louisiana a 36-34 lead.
But App State answered with a buzzer beating layup of its own, when Armani Hampton tied things up at 36-36, which was the score heading into the break.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Second Half): Over the first few minutes of the third quarter, Louisiana and App State kept up the standard set throughout the first half of trading baskets, and with six minutes to go in the period, two App State free throws put the score at 42-41 with Louisiana in the lead. It was at that point, sparked by sophomore Jomyra Mathis’ three-point basket with 5:27 minutes to go in the period, that Louisiana took control of the game and went on an 8-0 run over the next three minutes.
With the score sitting at 50-42, Story hit a free throw for what would be App State’s final basket of the period, and Mathis once again sparked a Louisiana run with a jumper on the next possession. Mathis’ basket, with 3:36 left in the period, sent Louisiana on a 10-0 run to finish the quarter and following what was the best quarter Louisiana has played all season, Morrison capped off the 10 exciting minutes with a half court buzzer beater putting the score at 60-42.
Louisiana pushed its lead to 17 points over the first two minutes of the quarter, but App State did not roll over and give up and at the 8:01 mark of the period, Plummer hit a free throw that sparked an 8-0 run from App State that cut Louisiana’s lead to under 10 points for the first time since the midway point of the third quarter.
But Louisiana’s defense was up to the task and they kept App State from hitting a basket from the field after a three-point basket from Lainey Gosnell at the four-minute mark of the period. And a 5-for-6 performance from the free throw line by Louisiana, helped keep the Mountaineers at bay and over the final four minutes Louisiana locked up its 73-55 win over App State.
GAME NOTES: Doucet missed tying a career-high in points by one, finishing with 28 points and 15 rebounds, both highs for Doucet in conference play this season; Doucet has now scored at least 20+ points in six games this season; Williams’ 16 points was the 11th time this season she has finished with at least 10+ points; Morrison finished with 10 points for the sixth time this season.
Louisiana’s 24-6 third quarter was the best defensive quarter all season; The Ragin’ Cajuns allowed 19 points in the second half, a low for the season in points allowed in one half; Louisiana scored 40 points in the paint, the most they have scored in conference play this season.
UP NEXT FOR THE CAJUNS: Louisiana wraps up the week with a Saturday afternoon matchup against Coastal Carolina on Feb. 2, with tip scheduled for 2 p.m. at the CAJUNDOME.
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.