After trailing by as many as 12 points in the second half, Louisiana dug deep in the final quarter and outscored Rice 32-16 to leave Houston with a 73-69 victory on Saturday night. The win is the team's first over the Owls since 1981.
Guard Brandi Williams was pivotal in the comeback, scoring a game-high 24 points, 14 of which came in the fourth quarter. She finished the night 7-for-9 from the field, 4-for-6 from long range, and a perfect 6-for-6 from the free-throw line.
Three other Ragin' Cajuns scored in double figures, with Ty'Reona Doucet and Destiny Rice each scoring 12 points and freshman Tamera Johnson tacking on 11 points. The foursome helped the team shoot 51 percent (27-for-53) from the floor.
Louisiana's (2-0) defense was stellar once again, forcing 26 turnovers and recording nine steals and two blocks.
Saturday's contest marked the team's largest comeback victory since Jan. 18, 2020, when Louisiana overcame an 18-point deficit over Texas State on the road.
Johnson gave her team its largest lead of the first half at 7-4 with 5:29 in the opening quarter with a driving layup, but the Owls answered and eventually took a 16-14 lead after a pair of made free throws with eight seconds showing on the clock.
Rice (1-1) dominated the second period, outscoring Louisiana, 17-8, to take a 33-22 lead at the break.
Louisiana was unable to unlock a hot-shooting Rice, who continued to maintain a double-digit lead throughout the third quarter and took advantage of a pair of late made free throws from India Bellamy to go up, 53-41.
The momentum began to turn out of the fourth quarter media timeout when Williams saw her 3-pointer fall after drawing contact and then made the ensuing free throw to cut the deficit to 62-59.
Moments later, Williams once again battled through contact, saw her driving layup fall, and made the free throw to knot things up at 66-all with 2:20 to play.
Sophomore Makayia Hallmon, who finished the game with eight points, nailed a clutch jumper with 26 seconds remaining, giving her team its first lead since the opening stanza at 70-68, forcing Rice to take a timeout.
The Owls were unable to muster up an answer and the Cajuns added three points via made free throws to leave Houston with an impressive 73-69 victory.
Louisiana returns to action on Thursday, Nov. 18, when it welcomes Louisiana State to the CAJUNDOME. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. and will be available to stream on ESPN+.
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