PENSACOLA, Fla. – For the first time since the 2016-17 season, Louisiana will play in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament Championship Game after it took down Little Rock, 58-48, in the Semifinals on Sunday afternoon.
The 2020-21 regular-season champion Ragin’ Cajuns (16-5, 13-1 Sun Belt) will face the Troy Trojans, who posted the most overall wins in the conference this season, in the title game at the Pensacola Bay Center. Tip-off is slated for 1 p.m. CT and will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU.
Monday’s matchup will be a rematch of the 2017 Championship Game, a contest that the Trojans won, 78-64, at Lakefront Arena. Kimberly Burton is the only current Cajun that participated in that contest.
Junior Brandi Williams paced the offense with a game-high 16 points, 13 of which came in the second half, a team-high three assists and three rebounds. Williams also went 6-for-6 from the free throw line, helping the team finish the game 14-for-14 from the charity stripe.
Jomyra Mathis scored in double figures for the second consecutive game with 11 points, while Skyler Goodwin came on in the second half contributed seven of her nine points and four rebounds.
For the second-straight game in the tournament, the team was able to control the glass after it out-rebounded the Trojans, 33-29. Senior Ty’Reona Doucet notched nine of those rebounds to go along with eight points.
Little Rock (15-11, 9-7 Sun Belt) took control of the game in the first quarter and took a 15-9 lead with 2:36 to play in the opening period before Doucet scored on back-to-back possessions to trim the deficit to 15-13.
Louisiana grabbed its first lead of the afternoon early in the second quarter when Williams knocked down one of her two triples in the contest to give the Cajuns a 19-18 lead, their first of the game.
The Trojans responded with a 10-2 over the next 4:34 of the half to go up 28-21, but three-straight buckets over the course of the remaining time swung momentum in the Ragin’ Cajuns’ favor despite trailing 28-27 at the break.
Williams stormed out of the gate in the second half by scoring the first eight points of the third quarter, flipping the game on its head and putting Louisiana on top 35-28. That lead held for the remainder of the period as the Cajuns went to the fourth up 45-40.
With a trip to the title game on the line, Louisiana did not let up in the final quarter and led by as many as 14 points on two different instances, both coming off made buckets from Mathis.
The Trojans held the Cajuns scoreless over the final 3:04 of the game and scored four points in that stretch but could not come back as Louisiana won the game 58-48.
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