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Louisiana Sneaks Past Georgia Southern, 56-54, in Regular Season Finale

Ragin’ Cajuns lock up No. 3 seed in Sun Belt Tournament; will play on Friday, March 4, at 5 p.m.
Posted at 7:19 PM, Feb 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-26 20:19:51-05

LAFAYETTE – With a first-round bye in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament on the line, Louisiana’s defense came up big down the stretch and held off a last-second attempt from Georgia Southern to lock up a 56-54 win in historic Earl K. Long Gymnasium.

Saturday’s triumph secured the No. 3 seed for the Ragin’ Cajuns in the Pensacola-based tournament. Louisiana will face the winner of (6) Texas State and (11) South Alabama in the Bay Center on Friday, March 4, at 5 p.m.

Tamera Johnson played a major role throughout the contest, recording her first career double-double after scoring a game-high 16 points and hauling in a career-best 12 rebounds. She also dished out a team-leading three assists against the Eagles.

Senior Ty’Reona Doucet narrowly missed a double-double with eight points and 11 boards, while Destiny Rice contributed 12 points and seven rebounds and Makayia Hallmon scored 13 points.

Louisiana’s (17-6, 9-4 Sun Belt) defense held Georgia Southern, which entered the contest averaging 80.1 points per game, to its season-low point total (54). The Ragin’ Cajuns also converted 17 Eagle turnovers into 14 points.

It was a dream start for the home team, who outscored the Eagles, 21-7, in the first quarter behind a 44.4 percent (8-for-18) shooting performance and eight points from Johnson.

That lead was extended to 26-8 3:25 into the second quarter, but a quick 10-0 run by Georgia Southern (17-9, 8-6 Sun Belt) cut the lead to single digits before a Hallmon triple seemed to help quell the momentum. The Eagles continued their surge, though, and ultimately outscored the Cajuns, 24-13, in the period to pull within 34-31 at halftime.

Louisiana’s offense went stagnant early in the second half, allowing Georgia Southern to capitalize on an 8-0 run to take a 42-36 lead following a made 3-pointer by Eden Johnson. Things began to click offensively over the next five minutes for the Cajuns, who went on an 11-5 run to square the game up at 47-47 through three quarters.

It was a back-and-forth affair in the final 10 minutes as the two teams traded blows until Rice used a made free throw with a second on the clock to give her side a two-point lead. Georgia Southern had one last attempt to force overtime, but the shot did not fall as Louisiana claimed the 56-54 victory.

The 2022 Sun Belt Tournament will begin on Wednesday, March 2, at the Pensacola Bay Center. More information on the event, including a complete bracket and ticket information, can be found at the league’s tournament central page [].

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