UL Women’s Basketball Hosts ULM: Preview & Keys To Victory
Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajun women’s basketball team is back in action on Saturday, when coach Garry Brodhead’s squad plays host to the ULM Warhawks in Sun Belt Conference action at the Cajundome.
The game will be the front part of a women’s/men’s doubleheader.
Louisiana, who fell to the UALR Trojans, 74-60, on Wednesday, has lost four-straight, and currently stands at 10-9, overall, and 3-5 in Sun Belt Conference play.
That 3-5 league mark puts the Cajuns in a tie for seventh place with ULM in the conference standings, still only one-and-a-half games out of fourth place.
ULM, who is 7-13, overall, to go along with their 3-5 league mark, has also lost four-straight, after falling to first place Arkansas St., 80-68, on Wednesday.
Offensively, UL is currently sixth in the conference, scoring 65.3 points-per-game, while ULM ranks fourth, averaging 71.6 points a contest.
Defensively, the Cajuns rank second in the league, allowing 63.8 points-per-game, while the Warhawks are giving up 72.7 points a tilt, which ranks eighth in the conference.
Louisiana is led by sophomore guard Sylvana Okde, who is averaging 12.4 points-per-game, while ULM is paced by senior forward Ashleigh Simmons, who is scoring at a 15.2 points-per-game clip.
The Warhawks lead the all-time series, 41-7, but UL will be going for a regular season sweep, after defeating ULM, 68-49, back on January 4 in Monroe in the first meeting.
Tip-off time is scheduled for 5 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 at 4:45 pm.
Keys to victory:
If the UL women are going to snap their four-game losing streak, they’re going to have to play consistently on both sides of the floor.
The Cajuns, who are still without the services of the injured Keke Veal, allowed UALR to shoot 60% from the floor on Wednesday night. For Louisiana, who relies on their defense to win, it’s difficult for them to win anytime they’re allowing the opposition to shoot 60% from the floor, but especially without Veal.
When Louisiana has the ball, offensively, they have to protect the basketball, be patient, and find a way to hit some key shots. If they can shoot over 40%, they can come away with a victory.
The Cajuns shot over 48% in the second half in the first match-up, and that was one of the keys to their 19-point road win.
The other key to their win against ULM earlier this year was turnovers. Louisiana turned it over only nine times, while forcing 19.
Louisiana, who ranks first in the league in turnover margin, will have to use their pressure defense to their advantage once again. The Warhawks were bothered by the pressure in the first meeting, so the Cajuns will make them prove that they’re better prepared to handle it this time around before they take their foot off of the gas.
The Cajuns will also have to deal with Ashleigh Simmons, ULM’s leading scorer, who didn’t play in the first meeting. Louisiana will have to make her work for all of her points, and keep her from having a 20-point, 10-rebound type of performance.
With Veal out, Louisiana is relying heavily on Sylvana Okde and Brooklyn Arceneaux to provide the bulk of the scoring. Somebody, along with those two, will have to step up and have a big game if the Cajuns are to snap that losing streak.