ATLANTA – It was a great effort all around, and it came down to the final shot, but unfortunately for Louisiana Women’s Basketball (6-17, 4-8 SBC) that final shot taken by sophomore guard Jomyra Mathis, did not fall and it resulted in a 74-71 loss to the Georgia State Panthers (13-9, 7-4 SBC) at the GSU Sports Arena.
Freshman guard Brandi Williams once again was on-fire finishing with 24 points, one off her career-high, and she was joined by freshman guard Andrea Cournoyer (15 pts.); sophomore center Ty’Reona Doucet (14 pts.) and Mathis (10 pts.) in scoring double figures. Offensively Louisiana shot 46 percent from the field, going 37 percent from beyond the arc to give them the second highest total of points in conference play this season.
HOW IT HAPPENED (First Half): Georgia State came out of the gate and looked to take control of the game early, scoring the game’s first five points, but Louisiana almost immediately reeled the Panthers back in and after a three-point basket by Cournoyer at the five-minute mark Georgia State held a slight lead at 11-9. Over the next five minutes both teams traded leads and back-to-back baskets from Williams put Louisiana up 14-16 with 2:46 to go in the period.
Jada Lewis answered with a three-point basket with just over one minute to go, putting Georgia State up 17-16 as the quarter drew to an end.
Much like the first quarter, both teams would trade baskets throughout the second period, but the quarter started slow for both sides with neither team scoring over the first minute and a half. A three-point basket by Janessa Murphy, followed quickly by freshman guard Diamond Morrison’s own three-point basket, around the 8:30 mark, got the scoring started for both teams.
Three times during the remainder of the period, Louisiana would take the lead but each time the Panthers responded to take back the lead in what was a true back-and-forth affair. With 2:23 Doucet hit a layup to put Louisiana up 27-28, but Georgia State answered with a quick 5-0 run to snatch back the lead.
The score then sat at 33-28, but Williams once again came up big, hitting a layup and drawing a foul with 26 seconds left. She converted the old fashioned three-point play, giving her 13 points in the first half, and it pulled Louisiana within two points of Georgia State heading into the break with the score sitting at 33-31.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Second Half): Over the first two minutes of the second half, the game was tied three different times, with a basket from Cournoyer at the 7:52 mark of the period tying the game at 37-37. That basket from Cournoyer sparked Louisiana on an 8-0 and they built a slight six-point lead over the next two minutes.
Louisiana would hold its lead for the remainder of the quarter, thanks to 7-0 run that built the lead to nine points when Doucet hit a jumper in the paint with 1:50 to go in the quarter. Answering every attempt by Georgia State to cut into the lead, the Ragin’ Cajuns held on to take a 52-48 lead into the final quarter of play.
Georgia State cut into Louisiana’s lead over the first three minutes of the fourth quarter, as Louisiana attempted to hold of the charging Panthers. Louisiana held on with a two-point lead with the score sitting at 56-54 with 7:22 to go in the game, when for the first of four times over the next three minutes, Georgia State tied the game with a K.K. Williams layup.
Every time the score would match up, Louisiana answered by retaking the lead during that stretch, but at the tail end of the three-minute stretch Georgia State would break the tie with an Allison Johnson layup at 2:33 to put the score at 66-64. Johnson’s basket sparked the Panthers and they pushed their lead to five points with one-minute remaining in the game when Lewis drained a pair of free throws to put the score at 71-66.
But the Ragin’ Cajuns were not ready to go home empty handed just yet, and after a Cournoyer basket and Lewis hitting one-of-two free throws, Williams came up big in the corner hitting a three-point basket to pull Louisiana within one-point, 72-71, with 21 seconds remaining.
Georgia State’s Lewis then drained her next two free throws but Louisiana had a chance to tie the game on the final possession. With the clock sitting at 16 seconds Louisiana came down the court and moved the ball well around the perimeter, eventually finding Mathis on the left wing.
Mathis pulled up for the game-tying basket, but unfortunately for Louisiana the shot rimed in and out of the basket as the buzzer rang, giving Georgia State the 74-71 win.
GAME NOTES: Williams averaged 24.5 points per game over the weekend, scoring 25 points at Georgia Southern and 24 points at Georgia State; Louisiana had four finish in double figures, giving Louisiana at least three who finished in double-figure scoring for the sixth straight game; It was the first time since Louisiana had more than three finish in double-figure scoring since Louisiana’s game against Texas A&M – Corpus Christi in Edinburg, Texas on Nov. 30, 2018.
UP NEXT FOR THE CAJUNS: Louisiana remains on the road in its next game, when on Saturday, Feb. 16, the Ragin’ Cajuns make the trip north to face in-state foe ULM in Monroe, La., for a game that is scheduled to tip at 2 p.m.
TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE: Both season tickets and individual game tickets for Louisiana Women’s Basketball are available for purchase by either heading to ragincajuns.com/tickets or by calling the Louisiana Athletics Ticket Office at the CAJUNDOME, (337) 265-2357, or by visiting the office in person.
FOLLOWING THE RAGIN’ CAJUNS: Follow the Ragin’ Cajuns on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (@RaginCajunsWBB) to stay up-to-date with Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Women’s Basketball.