Ragin’ Cajuns Beat Texas State At The Buzzer
Ragin' Cajuns fans needed some heart medicine to survive Louisiana's second round game in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.
Texas State had Louisiana against the ropes for the entire first half, but the Ragin' Cajuns put on their boxing gloves in the second half and started fighting. Simone Fields hit a hook shot at the buzzer for the 66-64 win, but it was an adventure even getting to that point.
Louisiana struggled to score in the first quarter. They went over four minutes without posting a single point, and Texas State outscored them 20-12 in the opening quarter. Toshua Levitt made seven three-pointers to lead the Bobcats to a 38-29 lead in the first half, but she never added a point to her 21 point tally in the second half.
The Cajuns woke up on defense in the second half. They outscored Texas State, 21-10 in the third quarter and stole the lead, 50-48 going into the final quarter of play. That's when things got wild.
The game went back and forth in the fourth quarter, with Louisiana trying to hold off Texas State and the Bobcats never letting off the pressure. After Texas State hit a three pointer to tie the game, 64-64, in the final five seconds, a lot of people expected overtime. Fields had other plans though.
Jaylyn Gordon found Fields with the feed, and Fields put the ball in the basket with under a second left on the clock for the win. Fields only finished the game with eight points, but the last two sealed the deal.
Several players pitched in for Louisiana in their quarterfinal win over Texas State. Jaylyn Gordon led the way with 17 points, but Jasmine Thomas (15 pts), Kimberly Burton (11 pts) and Nekia Jones (11 pts) also reached double-figures in the scoring column.
One of the overlooked factors in the game was the free throw shooting. Louisiana went 12-14 (85.7%) from the line, and Texas State finished 6-of-10 (60%). In a two point game, every point matters, and the Cajuns didn't miss out on the easy opportunities from the line.
Louisiana will now play the #1 seed, Little Rock, at 5:00 pm on Saturday with a chance to advance to the Sun Belt Conference Championship game. The Ragin' Cajuns already exceeded expectations this year, so they have nothing to lose.