UL Women Host WKU: Preview & Keys To Victory
UL freshman forward Gabby Alexander
Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajun women’s basketball team is back in action on Saturday, playing host to the WKU Lady Toppers, in Sun Belt Conference action.
The game will mark the back end of a day/night, men’s/women’s doubleheader at the Cajundome.
Louisiana, who lost in overtime, 72-67, to the Georgia St. Panthers on Thursday, has still won six of their last nine, and currently stands at 10-7, overall, and 3-3 in Sun Belt Conference play.
That 3-3 league mark puts the Cajuns in a four-way tie for fifth place, with South Alabama, ULM, and Texas St, only one full game out of second place, and two full games behind the first place Arkansas St. Red Wolves.
WKU, who is 12-5, overall, to go along with their 4-2 league mark, defeated ULM on Thursday, 77-73, to move into second place in the standings.
Offensively, UL is currently sixth in the conference, scoring 65.7 points-per-game, while WKU ranks second, averaging 72.6 points a contest.
Defensively, the Cajuns rank second in the league, allowing 62.9 points-per-game, while the Lady Toppers are giving up 64.9 points a tilt, which ranks third in the ten-team league.
Louisiana is led by sophomore guard Sylvana Okde, who is averaging 12.1 points-per-game, while WKU is paced by junior forward Chastiy Gooch, who is scoring at a 17.9 points-per-game, while pulling down a league-best 9.5 rebounds a contest.
The Lady Toppers lead the all-time series, 37-2, including three wins over UL last year, with a 61-57 in in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament in the last meeting,
Tip-off time is scheduled for 5:15 pm, or approximately 35 minutes after the completion of the UL/WKU men’s game, which will start at 3 o’clock.
You can hear all the play-by-play action on Sports Radio ESPN 1420, and espn1420.com, beginning with the pre-game show, following the men’s game
Keys to victory:
If the UL women are going to pull the upset over WKU, they’re probably going to have to play one of their better games of the year. The Lady Toppers, in my opinion, are the most talented, and versatile team in the league. They rank second in the conference in scoring offense, third in scoring defense, and first in scoring margin, while featuring arguably the league’s best player, in Chastity Gooch, who ranks third in scoring and first in rebounding.
For the Cajuns to have a chance, then need to keep Gooch from having a 25-point, 15-rebound type of game, something she’s more than capable of doing.
Louisiana, who ranks first turnover margin, will have to use their pressure defense to not only get them some easy buckets after turnovers, but to also wear down WKU, who has been on the road since traveling to Monroe on Tuesday, for a Wednesday night game.
The Cajuns also can ill-afford to go on a stretch where they have trouble putting the ball in the basket. They had one of those stretches in the first half of their last two games, against Troy and Georgia St., and both of them turned out to be losses.
With Keke Veal out, Louisiana is relying heavily on Sylvana okde and Brooklyn Arceneaux to provide the bulk of the scoring. Somebody, along with those two, with have to have a big game if the Cajuns have a shot to pull off the upset.