Louisiana will now enter the Sun Belt Conference Women’s Basketball Championships as the 10th seed and will face seventh seed South Alabama in Mobile, Ala. on Monday, March 11
LAFAYETTE – A late run by Louisiana Women’s Basketball (7-22, 5-13 SBC) almost gave the Ragin’ Cajuns a big comeback win, but the rally fell short in the final seconds as the Arkansas State Red Wolves (12-17, 7-11 SBC) came away with a 75-73 win in the regular season finale Saturday afternoon at the CAJUNDOME.
Sophomore center Ty’Reona Doucet led Louisiana in scoring with 16 points and a team-high seven rebounds while freshman guard Brandi Williams and sophomore guard Joymra Mathis each added 14 points. Freshman guard Andrea Cournoyer, who’s three-point shot with 35 seconds left tied the game, finished with 12 points to give Louisiana four scorers in double digits for the first time since Feb. 9 at Georgia State.
HOW IT HAPPENED (First Half): The first quarter went back-and-forth, with both sides trading leads six times during the period. But Arkansas State took the early control, taking a four-point lead at the 7:12 mark of the quarter thanks to a three-point basket by Lycia Peevy, putting the score at 8-4.
But Louisiana answered, taking back the lead and pushing it to three points thanks to a seven-point stretch by freshman guard Diamond Morrison started by a three-point basket with 4:20 left and over the next minute and a half Morrison would power Louisiana to a 14-11 lead. Arkansas State drew even with Louisiana, but with 21 seconds left sophomore guard Skyler Goodwin hit a jumper to put the score at 16-14 with Louisiana in front heading into the second quarter.
Louisiana quickly pushed its lead to seven points, twice hitting that advantage over the first two and a half minutes, with the score sitting at 25-21 with 7:22 remaining thanks to a Williams jump shot. The Red Wolves did not let Louisiana pull away during that stretch and much like the first quarter, the remainder of the period was back-and-forth.
The Ragin’ Cajuns would hold onto the lead over the final four minutes, after a pair of free throws by Payton Tennison tied things at 29-29, Louisiana answered every Arkansas State basket and took a 34-33 lead into the break.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Second Half): Once again the quarter would evolve into 10 minutes of back-and-forth action, with both sides trading leads seven times during the period. Arkansas State twice took the lead over the first two and a half minutes, taking a 39-38 lead on a Morgan Wallace free throw at 7:27.
The Wallace free throw sparked a one-and-a-half-minute stretch where both sides took and then handed back the lead and when the smoke cleared Louisiana led 42-41 on a Doucet jumper at the 5:53 mark of the period. But Louisiana could not pull away and the Red Wolves caught and passed the Ragin’ Cajuns with 30 seconds left in the quarter and a 5-2 finish by the Red Wolves gave them a 51-48 lead into the final quarter.
Arkansas State nearly ran away with the game in the final quarter, with the Red Wolves hitting a 9-0 run from the 6:32 mark to the 4:19 mark of the quarter. But the hard-fighting Ragin’ Cajuns dug deep, and the comeback was on thanks to a 8-0 run, sparked by Williams’ back-to-back baskets, pulled Louisiana right back into the game.
The game would be tied twice over the final 2:50 of the period, and with 42 seconds a pair of free throws from Akasha Westbrook gave Arkansas State a 73-70 lead. Louisiana came down and answered, following a timeout called by head coach Garry Brodhead, Cournoyer took the pass from sophomore guard Jomyra Mathis and confidently hit a deep three-point basket to tie things back up at 73-73.
But Arkansas State would get the last points, with Jireh Washington draining a pair of free throws with seven seconds left to give Arkansas State the lead and eventual win, 75-73, to close out the CAJUNDOME for the 2018-19 season.
GAME NOTES: Louisiana shot 50 percent from the field, which is ties the season-high, is the best non-overtime percentage and the best conference field goal percentage of the season … Louisiana’s four scorers in double figures is the first time that has happened since Feb. 9 at Georgia State … For the second time this conference season Louisiana had 40 points in the paint, the last being vs. Appalachian State on Jan. 31.
UP NEXT FOR THE CAJUNS: Louisiana opens up the 2019 Sun Belt Conference Women’s Basketball Championships with a first round, play-in game, matchup at South Alabama on Monday, March 9, with tip scheduled for 7 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.