CONWAY, S.C. – Louisiana produced a 22-7 run over the final 7:11 of the third quarter to take a one-point advantage with 10 minutes to play, but Coastal Carolina answered the call and outscored the Ragin’ Cajuns, 24-14, in the fourth quarter to lock up an 83-74 victory on Saturday afternoon.
Backed by a season-high 12 3-pointers and a 43.9 percent (29-for-66) shooting performance from the floor, the Ragin’ Cajuns (16-11, 9-7 SBC) saw four different players score in double figures to keep the team in the game.
Junior Jomyra Mathis was stellar despite getting into foul trouble, falling two assists shy of notching Louisiana’s first triple-double since 2004 after scoring 11 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. The double-double was the first of her career, while her eight assists set a new career high.
Brandi Williams was the team’s leading scorer for the ninth time this season with 19 points, while Andrea Cournoyer and Kimberly Burton also scored in double digits with 13 points and 12 points, respectively.
Coastal Carolina (25-3, 15-2 SBC) dominated the game in the paint, outscoring Louisiana, 50-24. The Chanticleers also finished the game with a 42-30 advantage on the glass, which led to a 22-12 differential in second-chance points.
Burton scored four of Louisiana’s opening seven points to put the visitors ahead 7-2 early in the first before Coastal Carolina found its rhythm and took its first lead of the game at 9-7 before outscoring Louisiana, 11-5, in the final 3:23 to go up 22-16 after 10 minutes.
The Ragin’ Cajuns trailed for the first five minutes of the second quarter until Mathis knocked down a big 3-pointer to put her team back in front, 31-30. That lead did not last long, though, when DJ Williams sparked a 15-1 Chanticleer run with two of her game-high 24 points to put her team ahead, 46-33, at the break.
Coastal Carolina seemed to be in firm control of the game when Caitlin Roche gave the Chants a 52-38 at the 7:11 mark of the third quarter. That was not the case, however, after Louisiana produced a 20-2 run over a 5:16 stretch to go ahead 58-54 with the help of a Cournoyer jumper.
After trading baskets in the final minute of the third period, Burton gave Louisiana a 60-59 lead with a driving layup heading into the final 10 minutes of play.
The fourth quarter got off to a costly start as Coastal Carolina stormed out of the game with a 13-6 run to overtake Louisiana and lead 72-66 at the final media timeout. Mathis was able to pull the team within 76-72 with 1:31 to play, but it was not enough as the Chanticleers pulled away with late free throws to take the game by a final score of 83-74.
Louisiana returns to Lafayette for its final two games of the regular season, beginning with a critical showdown with UTA at historic E.K. Long Gymnasium on Thursday, March 5. Tipoff for the team’s Throwback Game is slated for 6 p.m.
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