LAFAYETTE — There was not a whole lot that Louisiana did wrong in Thursday night’s contest, scoring a season-high 83 points and playing stellar defense in an 83-43 rout of Arkansas State in the Cajundome.
Thursday’s 40-point victory marked the largest scoring margin in a Louisiana (12-6, 5-2 SBC) win between the two teams in matchup history and was the team’s largest margin of victory over any opponent since defeating Southern-New Orleans, 82-28, on Nov. 19, 2015.
It was also the first time the team has scored over 80 points in a conference game since tallying 88 against Georgia Southern on March 6, 2018.
Eleven different Ragin’ Cajuns scored in the ballgame, led by 12, second-half points from freshman Makayia Hallmon, while Diamond Morrison, who saw significant minutes for the first time this season, and Brandi Williams each tallied 11 points.
Louisiana’s defense was dominant, forcing seven turnovers and holding Arkansas State to 43 points in the contest, the second-fewest points allowed by the Ragin’ Cajuns’ defense this season.
The team also tallied a season-high 20 assists to just 12 turnovers, the most since it dished out since producing 21 on March 6, 2018, against Georgia Southern. Andrea Cournoyer was responsible for six of those assists and finished the game with seven points.
It was a quiet start for both teams after each squad went without a field goal until Skyler Goodwin nailed a 3-pointer from the right baseline with 7:09 to play in the first quarter. Louisiana did not look back from the Goodwin trey when Cournoyer extended the lead with five-straight points to give the Ragin’ Cajuns a 14-4 advantage with 2:47 left in the first quarter.
Arkansas State (7-11, 4-3 SBC) used a 7-0 run at the end of the first quarter and beginning of the second period to cut the deficit to 20-16, but Louisiana matched Arkansas State’s run with a 9-0 run of their own to push ahead 29-16.
Over the next 5:12, the team used buckets from plethora of players to cap off a 44-point first half and take a 44-25 lead at halftime. Nine Ragin’ Cajuns got into the scoring column during the first half, led by a team-high eight points by Goodwin.
The impressive shooting carried over into the second half when Morrison knocked down a pair of triples to help the Ragin’ Cajuns extend their lead to 60-34. Hallmon jumped into the box score, becoming the 10th Ragin’ Cajun to score on the evening and extend the lead to 62-34 with 3:13 remaining in the third quarter.
It was all Ragin’ Cajuns in the fourth quarter, which outscored the Red Wolves, 14-8, in the final 10 minutes with the help of six points from Hallmon to wrap up the 83-43 victory.
Louisiana returns to action on Saturday afternoon when it takes on in-state foe ULM at the Cajundome on Alumni Day. Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN+ and ESPN1420.
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