LAFAYETTE, La. (1/26/16) – The Arkansas State women’s basketball team fell to Louisiana-Lafayette 72-60 Thursday evening at the CajunDome.
With the loss, A-State falls to 4-16 on the season and 2-6 in Sun Belt Conference play, while the Ragin’ Cajuns improved to 11-6 overall and 5-3 in the league.
Brittany Fowler led the Red Wolves with a career-high 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting, while Dominique Oliver and Lauren Bradshaw chipped in 12 points each. Tahlon Hopkins rounded out the double-figure scoring with 10 points, while Starr Taylor was the only other Arkansas State player to score with four points.
Jasmine Thomas led Louisiana-Lafayette with 21 points, while Simone Fields added 14 and Jalyn Gordon finished with 12.
How It Happened (First Half):
Both teams tried to push the pace early on but struggled to knock down shots at the Ragin’ Cajuns held a 15-11 lead after the first quarter. The Red Wolves were 5-of-18 from the field, but Louisiana-Lafayette was just 7-of-18 from the floor and was forced to give up on their press due to early foul troubles and A-State’s ability to beat it.
The Red Wolves took a 16-15 lead to start the second quarter after Hopkins knocked down a 3-pointer and Bradshaw followed with an open shot underneath the basket on a nice feed from Starr Taylor.
The Ragin’ Cajuns answered with a 7-0 that gave them their largest lead of the half at 28-20, but Fowler put a stop to the spurt with a 3-pointer and Hopkins followed with a layup to get A-State within three. Oliver hit a pair of free throws before the half to set the halftime score at 30-27.
Fowler led the way for A-State with nine points in the half, while Bradshaw had eight points and three rebounds. The Red Wolves shot 37 percent from the floor, while the Ragin’ Cajuns made 36 percent of their attempts.
How It Happened (Second Half):
Both teams battled back-and-forth throughout the third quarter, but managed to match each other step-for-step. Louisiana went up by nine thanks to a 6-0 with 3:02 left in the period, but the Red Wolves answered when Fowler knocked down back-to-back 3s to get within 46-43 that forced a UL timeout.
Nekia Jones opened the fourth quarter by hitting a 3-pointer to put Louisiana-Lafayette up six and the lead grew to 61-49 after back-to-back 3-pointers by Jasmine Thomas. The deficit got to 14 with 2:56 to play as the Red Wolves failed to string together enough defensive stops to get themselves back into the game.
The Ragin’ Cajuns outscored A-State 24-15 in the fourth quarter and went 9-of-10 from the free throw line. They also hit three, 3-pointers, including the pair by Jones that put the game out of reach for the Red Wolves.
A-State never led in the second half but kept Louisiana close throughout much of the third quarter. Hopkins started the second half by draining a ‘3’ from the top of the arch, but the Ragin’ Cajuns answered with a quick 6-0 run.
Arkansas State worked the lead down to three points three more times in the quarter, but could not seem to find enough offense to overtake Louisiana-Lafayette.
The Ragin’ Cajuns finished the game 28-of-67 (42 percent) from the field, while A-State was 22-of-54 (41 percent). Each team hit six, 3-pointers, but Louisiana held a 46-26 edge on the glass and got 44 points in the paint.
Brittany Fowler finished with a career-high 22 points, while her nine made field goals were also a career-high.
Lauren Bradshaw had block, giving her 101 for her career. She needs just more to tie Shay Scott for second place on the all-time career blocks list at A-State.
Dominique Oliver played all 40 minutes for just the second time this season.
Quoting Coach Boyer:
“Just like the last time we played them and against Appalachian State and Coastal Carolina and so many others we just fail in the fourth quarter. We went zone quite a bit and the scary thing about a zone is that teams can get comfortable in it, but we had done a pretty good job of switching, but we got in that fourth quarter and things started to turn a little bit.”
“One of the things that I’ve always been proud of is how players develop as they get older and it’s a shame that we aren’t doing very well this season because I don’t people realize just how much Fowler and Dominique have improved this year. They have really worked hard and really stepped up their game and it is just a shame that goes unnoticed because of the type of season that we are having.”