PENSACOLA, Fla. – Louisiana gave Troy all it could handle for four quarters in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament Championship Game, but the Ragin’ Cajuns’ valiant effort came up short as the Trojans won the tournament title with a 73-65 victory on Monday afternoon.
Four of the team’s starters scored in double figures during the contest, with senior Skyler Goodwin leading the way with 14 points and 10 rebounds, her first double-double of the season.
Fellow seniors Jomyra Mathis and Ty’Reona Doucet scored 14 points and 13 points, respectively, and each grabbed five rebounds, while Brandi Williams scored 12 points aided by a 4-for-7 effort from long range to secure All-Tournament honors.
Kimberly Burton fell just short of a double-double of her own, notching eight points and seven rebounds.
The two teams were evenly matched statistically through four quarters, but Troy used a 58-40 advantage on the glass to score 24 second-chance points.
Monday’s first quarter started off slow as both offenses struggled to get going, but Troy finally broke ahead with a 6-0 run, capped by a jumper from Tyasia Moore, to put the Trojans up, 14-7, after 10 minutes.
A jumper by Destiny McAfee, who scored four points in the game and hauled in six rebounds, and a 3-pointer off the hand of Goodwin cut the deficit to 14-12 31 seconds into the second period. Troy regained the momentum moments later and closed the half on a 22-10 run to take a 36-22 lead into the break.
The Trojans maintained a double-digit advantage throughout the majority of the third quarter until Doucet hit a turnaround jumper with 2:25 on the clock to pull her team within 50-43. Troy’s offense once again responded, going ahead 56-45 with ten minutes to play.
Things looked to be swinging in Louisiana’s favor when it opened the final quarter on an 8-0 run to pull within 56-53 following a Williams triple. That run was quickly cancelled out, though, when Troy popped off an 8-0 rally of its own to go back up by 11 points.
With one final push left in the tank, Williams got the team within six points (69-63) with 1:26 to play, but it was not enough as the Trojans held on to win the tournament crown, 73-65.
By virtue of winning the Sun Belt Regular Season Championship, the Ragin’ Cajuns have automatically qualified to participate in the 2021 Postseason WNIT. The tournament’s official bracket has not yet been released.
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