Ragin’ Cajun Women’s Basketball Falls to Troy 73-65 in Sun Belt Championship
Louisiana's Ragin' Cajun women's basketball team lost in the Sun Belt Conference Championship game today in Pensacola, falling to the Troy Trojans 73-65.
Louisiana's loss ends their school-record 15 game win streak and their goal of an NCAA Tournament bid.
The Cajuns struggled to find their offense in the first half, shooting 26% in the first half, while the Trojans hit 39% from the field.
"I think the 2nd quarter hurt us when they had (22 points)," said Louisiana head coach Garry Brodhead. "I'm proud of the fact we were able to fight back."
In the second half, Louisiana outshot Troy 45% to 34%, but it was second-chance points that proved to be the big difference-maker.
"All (the Trojans) do is push it and shoot it, push it and shoot it," explained Brodhead. "If you look at the percentages, we shot it better than them. The big thing is second-chance points. They just crashed the boards."
Troy finished the contest with 24 second-chance points. Louisiana had 2.
Brodhead was pleading with officials to blow a whistle at various moments of the game when Troy was playing physically in the paint and on the boards.
When asked in postgame how difficult it is to rebound against Troy, coach Brodhead made a point without actually making it, simply responding, "No comment."
After trailing by 14 at the half, Louisiana cut the deficit to 3, but couldn't get over the hump.
"It's been a great season," said Brodhead. "I wish we could've finished it with a win...Now we have an opportunity in the WNIT."
As the regular-season Sun Belt champion, Louisiana is an automatic qualifier for the Women's NIT postseason tournament.
The official WNIT field will be announced Monday, March 15th. It will consist of 32 teams, eight each at four regionals. Regional sites are Charlotte, North Carolina; Forth Worth, Texas; Memphis, Tennessee; and Rockford, Illinois.
"It means a lot because it's the first time for the program (to participate in the postseason WNIT) because we won the Sun Belt Conference," Brodhead said of the WNIT. "It's the first time in the 50 years of the program we've been able to do it."
With the loss, Louisiana falls to 16-5 on the season.