LAFAYETTE – Senior Jomyra Mathis gave Louisiana a lead it did not relinquish 10 seconds into Saturday afternoon’s game as the Ragin’ Cajuns locked up a well-deserved opening-weekend split by defeating Texas State, 67-41, at Strahan Arena.
Paced by 18 points from junior Brandi Williams, the Ragin’ Cajuns (2-5, 1-1 Sun Belt) finished the game shooting 53 percent (25-for-47) from the floor, its second-best shooting percentage of the season.
Williams was joined in double figures by Destiny McAfee, who scored a career-high 15 points, and Skyler Goodwin, who narrowly missed a double-double with 10 points and eight rebounds. Mathis was also on the cusp of a double-double against the Bobcats with nine points and six boards, while Kimberly Burton matched Mathis’ point total with nine points of her own.
The team’s defensive performance was equally as impressive, holding Texas State to just 27 percent (12-for-45) shooting from the floor and forcing 22 Bobcat turnovers, which the Ragin’ Cajuns turned into 27 points.
Mathis got things going in a hurry with an old-fashioned three-point play 10 seconds into the game to spark a 7-1 run. Texas State (4-3, 1-1) responded with five points over the next 1:46, but Williams capped off a 14-5 surge in the remaining time with three free throws, putting the visitors up 21-11 after one.
Louisiana’s lead continued to grow in the second period and peaked at 29-11 when Mathis converted a layup, two of the team’s 30 points in the paint, at the 4:44 mark. The defense then hunkered down, holding Texas State without a point over the final 4:25 of the half to take a 30-13 lead into the locker room.
It was all Ragin’ Cajuns for the remainder of the game, leading by as many as 31 points in the second half before quelling a late flurry of Bobcat buckets to secure the 67-41 road victory.
Louisiana returns to action on Friday when it hits the road once against to take on Little Rock. The series opens on Friday at 6:30 p.m., with the finale set for Saturday at 4 p.m. Both games will be available on ESPN+ and ESPN 1420.
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