SLU Sneaks Past Lady Cajuns
Southeastern Louisiana used a late run in the second half to defeat the Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns women’s basketball team, 56-52, on Tuesday evening at the University Center in Hammond.
Louisiana (7-6) led by as many as eight points in the second half, but Southeastern Louisiana (8-3) closed out the contest with a 10-to-6 run to split the two-game series this season. SLU shot 47 percent (14-of-30) in the second half, holding the Cajuns to just 33 percent (11-of-33) in the second half. Overall, UL shot 37 percent (22-of-59), while the Lady Lions were 36 percent from the field (22-of-61).
Michelle Brunker made a triple with 2:06 left in the game to put the Cajuns up 52-50. However, the Lady Lions went on a six-point including the game-clinching basket by Rachel Mackie with 49 seconds remaining. Brunker reached double-figures for the first time this season with a trifecta of three-pointers for 11 points in 19 minutes.
Junior Kemi Rotibi scored 12 points in the contest pulling in seven rebounds, while recording three steals in 25 minutes played.
Lafayette native Lyndra Bell inked her fifth double digit contest of the year, tallying 10 points with four rebounds.
Louisiana sustained a late run by Southeastern Louisiana to lead 28-24 at the half. The Cajuns shot 42 percent in the first half, making 11-of-26 attempts. Rotibi led UL with six points and three rebounds.
In the first few minutes of the contest, Danyell Oliver picked a pass and scored on a fast break layup to tie the contest at four. On the next possession, Bell drained a jumper to give UL the 6-4 advantage at 16:37.
There would be two more lead changes before Michelle Brunker added back-to-back baskets with a jumper and a triple to give UL a 17-14 lead with 9:43 in the first half.
UL went up by five with a jumper from Krystal Motley. Kelly Jenkins added a basket to help SLU pull within one at 6:50. Rotibi followed with another inside layup to extend UL’s advantage to 21-18.
The Ragin’ Cajuns capitalized with a 5-to-2 run to open up to their largest lead, 26-20, with 2:03 remaining in the half.
Southeastern Louisiana connected on four consecutive free throws to pull within two with less than 90 seconds remaining in the half, but Nicole Morris hit a pair of freebies to put the Cajuns up, 28-24 at the half. Morris notched a career-high with eight rebounds, dishing out six assists and scoring four points in 35 minutes played.
SLU opened up the second half on a 4-0 run to tie the contest with an Aja Gibson basket at 18:23.
Louisiana then proceeded on a 10-2 run beginning with a drained jumper by Bell to put the Cajuns up, 30-28 with 16:52. Jasmine Barnes followed with a jumper to re-extend the Cajuns lead by four. Bell drained another second chance basket to give UL a 34-28 lead.
Johnson scooped up the rebound to add to the Cajuns run to make it an eight-point contest.
Rachel Mackie’s layup inside helped the Lady Lions pull within six with 11:42 left in the contest. Rashima Jenkins added another basket inside to help SLU make it a 38-34 game. On the next possession, Jenkins inked a fast break opportunity to help Southeastern Louisiana pull within two.
Latoria Holder’s triple at 9:46 gave the Lady Lions their first lead, 39-38, since the early stages of the first half. It was short-lived as Rotibi added an inside basket to help UL take the one-point edge.
Louisiana went up 46-43 at 5:07 with a 15-foot jumper from D’Mya Clay. SLU equalized the contest with a triple.
Brunker drained another critical trey at 4:05 to give Louisiana the three-point edge. The junior again hit a crucial three-pointer at 2:06 to put the Cajuns up 52-50. SLU’s Kelli Jenkins tied the contest at 52-52 with 1:30 left in the game.
Mackie hit a jumper with 49 seconds remaining to give the Lady Lions the game-clinching basket as SLU clinched their eighth victory of the season.
The Ragin’ Cajuns were out-rebounded 46-to-36, but forced 18 Southeastern Louisiana turnovers in the contest.
Louisiana (7-6) will take an eight-day break before the Cajuns open conference action on the road next Wednesday, Dec. 29 at the University of Denver. UL will visit North Texas at the Super Pit on Saturday, Jan. 1.
— Ragin’ Cajuns —