MONROE, La. – Behind a trio of double-digit performers and a stellar defensive showing, Louisiana picked up its 12th-straight win over ULM and its seventh-straight win in Monroe with a 62-49 victory on Saturday afternoon.
The Ragin’ Cajuns (15-10, 8-6 SBC) have now completed the season sweep of their in-state opposition, improving them to 7-0 with the victory. Of the seven wins, two have come against the Warhawks.
Junior Kimberly Burton was nearly unstoppable on Saturday, finishing the game 9-for-11 from the field for a career-high 19 points to compliment five rebounds, two assists and two steals, while Jomyra Mathis matched a career high in scoring with 18 points, which she set against Georgia Southern on Feb. 15, and added a team-high five assists and a team-high four steals.
Fellow junior Ty’Reona Doucet rounded out the team’s double-figure scorers after pouring in 14 points and leading the team with seven rebounds and a career-high five blocks. Doucet now has 74 career swats, good for sole possession of fourth place on the school’s all-time blocks list, while her 33 blocked shots this season is one shy of 10th for the most in a single season.
Defensively, the team forced ULM to commit 18 turnovers, which it turned into 28 points on the offensive side of the floor. The Ragin’ Cajuns held the Warhawks to less than 50 points for just the eighth time this season and improved to 4-0 on the year when holding their opponents under 50 points.
Louisiana got off to a great start on Saturday afternoon, jumping out to a 10-0 lead in the first 3:01 of the contest behind four points apiece from Burton and Doucet. That did not last long, though, as ULM closed the quarter on a 16-6 run to tie the game up after the first 10 minutes.
Gara Beth Self knocked down a jumper in the paint for the first points of the second quarter to put the Warhawks ahead, 18-16, before the Ragin’ Cajuns stormed back with an 8-0 run highlighted by an old-fashioned, three-point play from Burton to put Louisiana back on top, 24-18.
The two teams combined for four points over the remaining 4:32 of the first half, including a jumper from Doucet at the 1:15 mark, to send the visitors into halftime with a 26-20 lead.
Louisiana started the second half strong and took a 36-23 lead following a jumper off the hands of Mathis. Once again, ULM responded quickly and cancelled out the momentum with an 8-0 stretch of its own to trim the lead to 36-31 with 3:54 to play in the third.
After trading buckets over the remaining time in the third period and for the opening four minutes of the fourth period, Louisiana found itself ahead just 46-41 with 6:16 to play. However, the offense responded in a big way, putting together a monster run that saw the lead grow to as big as 61-41 after Diamond Morrison knocked down a jumper to create enough separation to preserve a 62-49 victory.
The Ragin’ Cajuns resume action on the road on Thursday, Feb. 27, when they head to Boone, N.C. to take on Appalachian State. Tipoff from the Holmes Convocation Center is slated for 5:30 p.m. CST.
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