MOBILE, AL — Junior Ty’Reona Doucet scored 11 of her team-high 19 points in the fourth quarter to spark Louisiana’s late comeback attempt, which came up short on Thursday evening when the Ragin’ Cajuns fell at South Alabama, 78-63.
Trailing by as many as 20 points in the opening half, Louisiana (13-8, 6-4 SBC) pulled to within five points (57-52) in the fourth quarter in their attempt to complete the season sweep of the Jaguars, but a hot-shooting South Alabama offense, which finished the game shooting 49 percent (26-for-53), was not to be denied.
The Ragin’ Cajuns shot 38 percent (23-for-61) from the floor on Thursday and knocked down 14 of their 17 free throw attempts to keep the game within reach.
Sophomore Brandi Williams joined Doucet in double figures, finishing the contest with 14 points for her first double-digit scoring performance since Jan. 23 against Arkansas State. Doucet led the team on the glass with nine rebounds, while fellow junior Kimberly Burton had a productive outing with nine points and four boards.
After the two teams traded buckets in the first two minutes, South Alabama broke things open on the back of an 8-0 run to take a 12-6 lead at the first media timeout before a Williams layup put an end to it with 3:56 on the clock.
Kristen Daniels pulled Louisiana within 12-10 following the break, but the Jaguars’ Savannah Jones took over in the final 1:16, hitting three 3-pointers to put the home team ahead, 21-10.
The hot shooting continued for South Alabama, which put together yet another run to take a 29-12 advantage before Williams knocked down a triple from the top of the key to cut the deficit to 29-15. The Jaguars’ lead in the opening half would grow as large as 39-19 before the half came to a close with the score 42-24.
Louisiana began to claw back in the second half, outscoring South Alabama 11-5 in the opening five minutes of the third quarter behind four points from both Doucet and Williams. Andrea Cournoyer scored the only bucket in the final minute of the third period, making the score 55-41 with 10 minutes to play.
Doucet got things going in the fourth quarter, converting back-to-back, three-point plays to spark an 8-0 run and cut the Jags’ lead to 55-49 early in the final quarter. Louisiana pulled within 57-52 with 8:13 to play, but South Alabama found its groove late and outscored in Ragin’ Cajuns, 21-11, over the course of the remaining time to wrap up the 78-63 victory.
Louisiana returns home on Saturday, Feb. 8, when it takes on the Sun Belt’s top team in Troy. Tipoff from the Cajundome is slated for 2 p.m. and will be broadcast on both ESPN+ and ESPN1420.