Cajun Women Fall Short, Lose To UAB
Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns women's basketball team used a double-digit run in the second half, but fell short, 58-46, to UAB on Saturday afternoon at Earl K. Long Gym.
Louisiana (1-1) trailed by 20 with eight minutes to go in the game, but used a 14-to-5 run to slow down the Blazers and pull within eight.
UAB (2-1) controlled the boards, posting a 41-30 rebound advantage. UL forced 16 Blazers turnovers and dished out 10 assists in the contest.
Leading the way for Louisiana was newcomer Danyell Oliver, who scored all 17 of her points in the second half. The Kilgore College transfer tallied nine points in the span of three minutes.
She was 5-for-11 from the field, making a pair of triples. Oliver, a native of Belle Rose, hit all five of her freebies at the line.
Mercedes Johnson had 11 points for the Cajuns at the half. The junior wrapped up the game with 15 points. She grabbed three offensive boards and recorded a block and dished out an assist.
Point guard Nicole Morris had a career day, tying her career-high for assists with four and also tying a career-best with five rebounds.
Jasmine Barnes inked four rebounds, finishing the contest with two points and two assists.
Sophomore Jayla Harris led UAB with 22 points, four rebounds and four assists.
In the first half, UAB used a 16-to-7 run in the final eight minutes to take a 32-18 lead at the half.
UL hit seven shots in 23 attempts from the field for 30 percent. The Blazers managed 44 percent (13x29) from the field.
Reaching double-figures in the first half was Johnson, who led Louisiana with 11 of the team's 18 points. Harris had 14 at the halfway point for the Blazers.
The opening six minutes of the first half got off to a fast paced start for both teams. Johnson and Barnes scored the first six points for the Cajuns, as Johnson drained a pair of buckets in that span and Barnes' assisted with a layup and steal.
UAB jumped out to a 12-6 run including a trey by Jala Harris. Bell's jumper at 14:28 cut the Cajuns deficit to four.
The Blazers drained a triple at 10:44 as UAB, taking their largest lead at this point, 16-8.
Louisiana snapped a five-plus minute drought with a jumper by Johnson at 9:35. On the next possession, Johnson drove down to the floor and was fouled on a fast-break opportunity. She hit one of her two free throws at the line, cutting UAB's advantage to five.
Bell picked up a rebound and used a spin-around to drain a two for UL, making it an 18-13 game at 5:38. Johnson used a one-and-one opportunity to pull the Cajuns within six at 3:44. Bell finished the afternoon with four points, two rebounds, an assist and a steal.
The Blazers added another five points in the final minute, extending their lead to 14 at the half. In the final eight minutes, UAB used a 16-to-7 run to close out the half.
UAB started off a 10-4 run to start the second half. Johnson broke up the UAB 6-0 run with a jumper at 15:59.
Oliver drained the next trifecta of shots for the Cajuns, narrowing the Blazers lead to 42-26 at 13:02.
The Belle Rose native was fouled behind the three-point line and drained all three to cut UL's deficit to 44-29 at 11:29. During a three-plus minute span Oliver tallied nine points with a steal.
Harris hit a trey at 8:40 to re-extend the Blazers' 20-point lead. Seven seconds later, D'Mya Clay knocked down a three to make it a 49-32 contest with 8:33 remaining in the game.
After a pair of missed shots, Johnson picked a rebound off the glass and knocked it in to cut UAB's lead to 15 at 7:01.
A pull-up jumper by Krystal Motley pulled the Cajuns within 13 at 6:05. Oliver made another pair of made from the charity stripe to cut the Blazers lead to 11.
The Cajuns pulled within nine when Michelle Brunker hit a fade away jumper at 3:53. Brunker had four boards with two points and an assist. Oliver drained a trey at 1:57 to cut UL's deficit to eight.
UAB pushed the lead to 10 at 1:07 with a jumper. UL missed a three-point opportunity within the last minute. Oliver added her second triple to cut UL's deficit to 56-46 with 14 seconds remaining.
Harris drained a pair of free throws for UAB to end the contest at 58-46.
The Ragin' Cajuns begin a four-game road swing by visiting in-state for Southern on Tuesday, Nov. 22. Tip-off with the Jaguars is slated for 5:30 p.m. UL then travels to Hattiesburg, Miss., for the USM Thanksgiving Classic on Nov. 26 and 27. The Cajuns close out the road trip with a visit to New Orleans on Monday, Nov. 29.