UL Women’s Basketball: Week In Review
Louisiana's Ragin' Cajun women's basketball team dropped two close home games last week, extending their losing streak to three games, their longest streak of the year.
With the two setbacks, Louisiana fell to 10-8, overall, and 3-4 in Sun Belt Conference play.
Last Thursday, the Cajuns lost to Georgia St., 72-67, in overtime.
Louisiana led by 11 points, 28-17, at the 7:51 mark of the first half, before Georgia St. went on a 16-1 run over the next 3:51, to take a 33-29 lead at the 4:00 mark of the initial half.
Obviously, with the game going into overtime, the game was close throughout, but that was probably the stretch the proved to be UL's undoing.
Brittany Logan and Haley Gerrin, two freshmen, combined for 29 points and 25 rebounds off the bench for the Panthers, to propel them to the overtime win.
Brooklyn Arceneaux, who has stepped up her scoring in the absence of the injured Keke Veal, had her third-consecutive double-digit scoring game, with 16 points, while pulling down nine rebounds.
Georgia St. out-shot the Cajuns from the field, 45%-38%, and out-rebounded them, 43-32, but Louisiana's pressure defense kept them in the game, forcing 27 turnovers.
Louisiana played hard in the game, which is why they had a chance to win, but they just didn't quite shoot it well enough, and they fell just a little short.
On Saturday, the Cajuns lost to the WKU Lady Toppers, 68-63.
The game was close throughout the first 32 minutes, with WKU holding a 50-48 lead with 7:58 left.
That's when the Lady Toppers went on a little mini-run, outscoring Louisiana, 12-4, over the next 3:06, to take a 62-52 advantage with 3:52 left.
From there, WKU held on for the five-point win.
Chastity Gooch led the way for the Lady Toppers, with 22 points and 11 rebounds, while Sylvana Okde paced UL in a losing cause, with 16 points.
Louisiana played well, and did everything they had to do to win the game, before falling just a little bit short, out-shooting WKU, 46%-43%, and also finishing with a surprising 32-29 rebound advantage.
The difference in the game was at the free-throw line, where the Lady Toppers converted on 20-25 attempts, compared to only 12-21 for the Cajuns.
WKU is a talented squad, with arguably the best player in the league, in Gooch, but UL played a really solid game, keeping things close throughout. All due respect to Troy and Georgia St., who did what they had to do to defeat the Cajuns in previous games, but I think if UL had played the way they did against WKU in the games against Troy and Georgia St., the outcomes would have been different.
Of course, the key is consistency, and that's something this young Louisiana team is trying to develop.
The two losses were disappointing, especially since the Cajuns began the week tied for third place, with three of their next four at home. The two losses has dropped them to seventh place in the conference standings, and also dipped them below the .500 mark in league play.
Still, let's look at the large sample size here. The Cajuns, with 11 games still remaining, have ten wins, which already matches their win total from last year, and they've done that with only one junior, Robbie Brown, and no seniors on their team.
Also, remember, starting point guard Kia Wilridge missed the first eight games of the year with a shoulder injury, and Veal has missed the last five games with a stress fracture in her leg. So, really, Louisiana has played 13 of their 18 games without one of their starting guards.
They have a tough stretch coming up, with three of the next four coming on the road, so if may be difficult to develop that consistency over the next couple of weeks, but good days are ahead for this program, as they continue to mature, and learn how to win.
That may not even happen this year, but it will happen soon.
UL women's basketball is like bad weather...it's coming!