ATLANTA — Four Ragin’ Cajuns scored in double figures and the team matched a season high in 3-pointers with eight en route to a 75-65 victory over Georgia State in its Sun Belt Conference opener on Thursday evening.
With the 10-point victory, Louisiana (8-4, 1-0 SBC) picked up its first win in a league opener since defeating ULM, 71-52, on Dec. 3, 2015, in Monroe. The team is now 3-5 in league openers under head coach Garry Brodhead.
Junior Jomyra Mathis and Kimberly Burton led the way with career nights, scoring 14 points and 12 points, respectively. Burton has now scored in double figures in three-straight contests, while Mathis finished the night with a team-leading eight rebounds against the Panthers.
Joining the duo in double figures was Andrea Cournoyer (13) and Skyler Goodwin (11), marking the second time this season that four different Ragin’ Cajuns scored at least 10 points in a game. Freshman Caira Wren added a career-high eight points in the victory.
The Ragin’ Cajuns continued their trend of being one of the top 3-point shooting team’s in the league, going 8-for-17 from long range, the second game this season with eight triples. Overall, the team finished the game 30-for-64 from the floor, its best shooting percentage in a game this year.
Louisiana could not have asked for a better start to Sun Belt play, opening the game on an 8-0 run over a 2:31 stretch. Georgia State put together a 9-2 run of its own to cut the lead to one, but a Wren jumper and a big triple from Makayia Hallmon pushed the advantage to 15-9 at the end of the first quarter.
Freshman Alexandria Goodly opened the scoring in the second quarter with a 3-pointer of her own at the 8:22 mark, one of four that Louisiana made before the media timeout to take a 29-18 lead. The Ragin’ Cajuns finished the final 2:55 of the first half on a 6-0 run to take a 35-20 lead into halftime.
Georgia State responded in a big way after Mathis opened the half with a triple, using an 8-0 run to cut the Louisiana lead to 38-28 before a Wren layup ended the threat at the 6:33 mark.
Up 15 points entering the final period, Louisiana seemed to have all the momentum when a Mathis layup put the visitors ahead, 64-42, with 4:37 to play in the contest. However, the Panthers stormed back over the remainder of the period and cut the deficit to single digits, but they could not overcome the margin as the Ragin’ Cajuns held on for the 75-65 road victory.
Louisiana resumes play on Saturday, Jan. 4, when it heads east to Statesboro to face off with Georgia Southern. Tipoff from Hanner Fieldhouse is slated for 1 p.m. CST and will be broadcast on ESPN+.