CONWAY, S.C. (Press Release) – A late fourth quarter run, that saw Louisiana Women’s Basketball (7-19, 5-10 SBC) comeback from a seven-point hole midway through the period, fell short as Louisiana ran out of gas down the stretch to fall, 67-62, at Coastal Carolina (16-10, 8-7 SBC) in a Thursday evening Sun Belt Conference matchup at the HTC Center.
Sophomore guard Jomyra Mathis led Louisiana with 13 points, scoring 11 second half points in the process, while junior forward Kendall Bess and freshman guard Brandi Williams each scored 12 points to give Louisiana three double-digit scorers in the game. Louisiana pressured the Chanticleers all night long, and in the end the Ragin’ Cajuns had grabbed a season-high 13 steals, scoring 22 points off of turnovers.
HOW IT HAPPENED (First Half): Through the first quarter, Louisiana and Coastal traded baskets, with the score tying up or sitting with each side having at least a one-point lead six times during the period. Bess started hot, scoring Louisiana’s first basket and third basket in the game.
Louisiana took its first and only leads in the game midway through the period, with Williams hitting a basket at the 4:35 mark to make it 9-8 and shortly after that redshirt freshman Kristen Daniels’ basket put Louisiana again back in front, with the score sitting at 11-10. Coastal would answer with a run and push its lead to four points over the final minutes of the quarter, but freshman guard Diamond Morrison would bank a three-point shot off the glass to make it 15-14 in favor of Coastal after the first quarter of action.
During the second quarter, Coastal began to stretch its lead during the second period, twice going ahead by seven points in the quarter. A two-point basket from Aja Blount, put Coastal Carolina up 23-16 with five minutes to go in the quarter. Louisiana ripped off a 9-2 run following that Blount basket, tying the game at 25-25 with three minutes to go in the half.
But Coastal responded with a 5-0 run to take back the lead over the final minutes of the half. Mathis would hit a basket with three seconds left in the period, to pull Louisiana two points closer and at halftime the Chanticleers lead 30-27.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Second Half): Three times during the third quarter, Coastal stretched its lead to seven points, but each time Louisiana responded with a run to keep the Chanticleers within arm’s reach. The last seven-point lead that Louisiana erased in the quarter, started at the 35-second mark with Coastal leading 49-42.
Williams hit a running basket right outside the paint, and with four seconds left sophomore center Ty’Reona Docuet snagged a steal and sent it down the court. Williams missed a basket, but Bess was Johnny-on-the-spot, cleaning up the rebound and quickly nailing a buzzer beating layup to put the score at 49-46 with Coastal in the lead heading into the final quarter.
Once again, Coastal would stretch its lead back to seven points, with Torrie Cash hitting a basket at the 7:15 mark to put the score at 58-51. Louisiana then showed its fight, digging deep to begin to work its way back into the game.
Over the next six minutes the Ragin’ Cajuns whittled away at the Chanticleer’s lead and with 1:06 left in the game Mathis hit a jump shot right outside the paint to tie-up the score at 61-61. But Coastal responded with a DJ Williams basket with 34 seconds remaining to give Coastal a three-point lead, 64-61, which became the shot that would give Coastal the eventual win.
Down the stretch the Chanticleers would hit their free throws, going 3-for-4 from the stripe over the final 30 seconds, to hold off Louisiana and come away with the 67-62 win.
GAME NOTES: Williams’ 12 points is the fifth straight game the freshman has scored at least 10 points in a game … Bess’ 12 points is a career-high … This was the eighth game of the season that Mathis has scored at least 10 points … The 13 steals was a season-high for Louisiana and the most steals recorded in a single game since Louisiana had 14 steals against UT Arlington on March 8, 2018.
UP NEXT FOR THE CAJUNS: Louisiana remains on the road, as the Ragin’ Cajuns will wrap up the Carolina swing with a visit to Boone, N.C., to take on the Appalachian State Mountaineers on Saturday, Mar. 2 with tip scheduled for 1 p.m. CT.
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.