UL Women Advance In WBI, Eliminate UTPA, 78-56
UL freshman center Simone Fields
Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajun women’s basketball team advanced in the Women's Basketball Invitational on Thursday night, defeating the Texas-Pan American Broncs, 78-56, in opening round action at historic Earl K. Long Gym.
The win was the first postseason victory, ever, for Louisiana, in only their second postseason game in program history.
The win also marks the first 20-win season for the Cajuns since finishing 25-9 in the 2006-07 season, and gave them the third 20-win season in school history.
The first half was close throughout, but it was Texas-Pan American who lead most of the first 20 minutes, and took a 27-25 lead into the locker room at halftime.
UALR out-shot Louisiana, 35%-31%, while also out-rebounding the Cajuns, 22-21, over the first 20 minutes.
Brittany Bush Dawn led the way for the Broncs in the first half, with 10 points and 10 rebounds, while Kia Wilridge and Gabby Alexander had 6 points apiece for the Cajuns.
Like the first half, the first 11:24 of the second half were tough and tight, with Louisiana holding a close 52-50 lead with 8:36 remaining.
It was then that the Cajuns put the game away, going on an 18-2 run over the next 4:33, to take a commanding 70-52 advantage with only 4:03 left.
Louisiana went on to out-score UTPA, 8-4, the rest of the way, to make it a 26-6 run over the final 8:36, as UL wound up cruising to the historic postseason win.
Louisiana out-shot Texas-Pan American from the field, 51%-34%, shooting a blistering 71% in the second half, while also finishing with a 36-31 rebound advantage.
Wilridge led the way for the Cajuns, finishing with 18 points, while Simone Fields, Keke Veal, and Jaylin Gordon had 14,12,11, respectively, as UL had four players who finished in double figures.
In a losing cause for the Broncs, Bush finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Rickell Preston and Cha'zaye Wright chipped in with 8 points apiece.
With the victory, Louisiana improved to 20-12 on the season, while Texas-Pan American fell to 19-15.
The Cajuns return to action on Saturday, when they host the McNeese St. Cowgirls in second round play of the WBI..
Tipoff time at Earl K. Long Gym is slated for 7 o'clock.