LAFAYETTE — Louisiana Women’s Basketball quickly rebounded from its first loss of the 2021-22 season as the squad led from start to finish in a 64-45 win over New Orleans on Saturday at the CAJUNDOME.
The commanding performance saw the Ragin’ Cajuns (3-1) score the game’s first five points, use a 26-point effort in the second quarter to create separation, and lead by double digits the final 22 minutes including the entire second half.
Alicia Blanton and Lanay Wheaton each converted five field goals to lead a contingent of six individuals with multiple field goal makes. Blanton led the way with 12 points, Wheaton closely followed with 11 points and Ty Doucet was the third Ragin’ Cajun in double figures with 10 points.
Louisiana shot 42.1 percent from the floor (24-for-57) while holding the Privateers to just 23.2 percent shooting (13-for-56). The defense limited UNO (1-3) to single-digit field goal conversions in each half, no more than seven in either stanza.
The Ragin’ Cajuns held a 45-38 in rebounds including a 12-11 edge in offensive rebounds. Doucet and Diamond Morrison posted a game-high tying six boards to lead a group of five players with at least five rebounds.
Shooting 8-for-12 from the floor and attacking the basket in the second quarter, which led to nine freebies, allowed Louisiana to stretch out its 10-4 lead.
A personal seven-point run from Makayia Hallmon on three field-goal makes over a one-minute span early in the second quarter stretched the lead out to 18-9 by the 7:18 mark.
The advantage moved into double figures for good out of the media timeout as the Ragin’ Cajuns turned in their longest scoring run of the game. The 10-0 spurt was capped off by Destiny Rice converting an and-one situation at 1:16 to extend the lead to 32-17.
Louisiana scored the first six points of the second half to reach its largest lead of the contest at 42-19 following a pair of Doucet free throw makes at 6:45. The 23-point edge was matched three more times before the third quarter expired.
Largely due to a 12-for-12 showing at the charity stripe in the second half, led by a 9-for-9 performance from Brianna Ellis, UNO gradually lowered the Ragin’ Cajuns lead down to 15 points (60-45) with just under four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Ragin’ Cajuns defense locked up down the stretch by holding the Privateers scoreless over the final 3:37. Louisiana held UNO without a make in its final six field-goal attempts and forced a pair of turnovers.
Louisiana now moves on to a pair of in-state road games during Thanksgiving week, traveling to Hammond for a 7 p.m. contest at Southeastern Louisiana on Wednesday (Nov. 24) followed by a 2 p.m. tipoff on Sunday (Nov. 28) in Lake Charles at McNeese State.
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