LAFAYETTE – Louisiana gave No. 15 Mississippi State all it could handle for 40 minutes on Education Day, but a late, fourth-quarter run by the visitors broke the game open and sent the Bulldogs past the Ragin’ Cajuns, 64-48, on Monday afternoon.
Entering the final period down 10 points, Louisiana (6-3) had two chances to put the pressure on when it trimmed the Mississippi State lead to 46-40 (7:00) and 53-46 (3:54). However, the Bulldogs pushed the lead out to 64-46 with an 11-0 run in the last three minutes to ice the game.
The Ragin’ Cajuns were unable to find its offensive footing, finishing the game 16-for-51 (31.4 percent) from the floor. Despite the low shooting performance, the team held its own on the glass with 30 boards and forced 25 turnovers to keep within striking distance throughout the contest.
More impressively, the Ragin’ Cajuns held a Bulldog squad that ranked third in the country in scoring offense with 86.8 points per contest to just 64 points on Monday, the Bulldogs’ second lowest point total of the season.
Redshirt junior Kimberly Burton led the way for Louisiana with 10 points, her first double-digit scoring performance since tallying 10 against Alcorn State in the team’s last Education Day win on Dec. 20, 2017. Skyler Goodwin and Diamond Morrison were next up on the scoresheet with seven points apiece.
Despite only scoring three points against the Bulldogs, Ty’Reona Doucet was a big factor for the team in 26 minutes of action, pulling down a team-high five rebounds and swatting two shots, bringing her within two blocks of the programs’ top-10 in that category.
Both teams struggled in the opening 10 minutes of play, shooting 7-for-28 from the field in the first quarter and combining for just 22 points. Needing a spark, Louisiana scored the first five points of the second period, including a 3-pointer by Goodwin, to give the Ragin’ Cajuns a 15-12 lead at the 6:53 mark.
After trading buckets over the remaining time in the second quarter, the Ragin’ Cajuns looked to be headed to the locker room trailing 27-25 following two made free throws by Brandi Williams. Mississippi State’s Andra Espinoza-Hunter had other plans, though, draining a buzzer-beating triple to send the Bulldogs into the break with a 30-25 lead.
Mississippi State got things going offensively in the third quarter, shooting 58.3 percent (7-for-12) from the floor and outscoring Louisiana, 16-11, to open up a 46-36 advantage with one quarter left to play.
Louisiana had two quality chances to really put the pressure on in the final quarter, the first coming at the 7:00 minute mark when Jasmine Thomas knocked a pair of free throws to cut the lead to 46-40. After the Bulldogs held off that rally, Andrea Cournoyer buried a 3-pointer just over three minutes later to cut the lead down to 53-46.
However, Mississippi State took advantage of its size and athleticism over the next 2:12, using an 11-0 run to go ahead 64-46 with 1:21 to play before holding on to win by a final score of 64-48.
The Ragin’ Cajuns return to action on Friday, December 20, when they travel to Oxford, Mississippi, to take on Ole Miss. Tipoff from The Pavilion is set for 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on SEC Network+.
Follow the Ragin' Cajuns on Twitter (@RaginCajunsWBB), Facebook (Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns) or Instagram (@RaginCajunsWBB) to stay up-to-date on all that is happening with Louisiana Women's Basketball.