HAMMOND — Up two points with 10 seconds to play, Louisiana locked down the Southeastern Louisiana Lady Lions and prevented them from getting a shot off to hold on to a 54-52 victory on Thanksgiving Eve in Hammond.
With the win, the Ragin’ Cajuns (4-1) recorded their eighth-straight victory over the Lady Lions and improved to 2-1 on the year against teams from the state of Louisiana.
Sophomore Makayia Hallmon led the charge in the back-and-forth affair, scoring a game-high 16 points, hauling in a team-best six rebounds and dishing out three assists. Tamera Johnson (12), Ty’Reona Doucet (11) and Destiny Rice (11) also scored in double figures during the victory.
Doucet led the way on defense as well, recording the third five-block game of her career to compliment a steal and five rebounds. The defense as a whole held Southeastern Louisiana, who was projected to win the Southland Conference this season, to their second-lowest scoring output of the year.
Louisiana made its first seven field goals to open the contest with Hallmon and Johnson combining for 13 of the teams 15 points early on. After a dry spell, Rice finished a nice layup to push the lead to 17-11, but a made free throw and buzzer-beating layup from SLU in the final 41 seconds of the quarter pulled the Lady Lions within 17-14.
The Ragin’ Cajuns used a 6-0 run to open the second stanza to take a 22-14 lead, but the Lady Lions countered with an 11-0 run over the final 8:12 of the period to go up 25-22 at halftime.
Hallmon put her squad back in front with an early jumper in the second half, but another big run by Southeastern Louisiana, this one a 7-1 streak, extended the home team’s lead to 32-27.
Diamond Morrison, earning her first start of the season, completed an 8-0 Louisiana run at the third quarter media timeout as she drove through traffic and got the layup to fall to put the Cajuns up 35-32.
Leading by one entering the fourth, the Ragin’ Cajuns caught fire offensively early, using a 7-0 run over the opening 2:21 of the period to push their advantage to 48-39.
As they had done all game, the Lady Lions powered their way back into the game and pulled within two points with just 10 seconds showing on the clock. However, the Ragin’ Cajuns were able to hold strong on defense and stop the hosts from getting off a shot to escape the University Center with a 54-52 victory.
Louisiana returns to action on Sunday, Nov. 28, when it heads West to take on the McNeese Cowgirls. Tipoff from Burton Coliseum is slated for 2 p.m.
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