women's basketball

NOTICE: The views expressed in The Vermilion's opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect those of The Vermilion staff or of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Two weeks ago I wrote about the women’s basketball team’s chances of winning their upcoming games. I believed Louisiana could be a force to be reckoned with by correcting a few errors. 

After suffering many losses in January, it was evident that lack of turnovers, strong defense and rebounding were key in gaining victories. This was proved correct over the weekend as the Ragin’ Cajuns women’s basketball team gained two back-to-back wins. 

The wins were extremely impressive as the team had not played a game since Jan. 2. A combination of postponements and cancelations left the team without competition for multiple weeks, but it may have been exactly what Louisiana needed. 

Some would argue such a long time without playing a game could have negative effects, but that was not the case for Louisiana. 

With almost three weeks without gameplay, the Ragin’ Cajuns had time to go over what had been lacking in earlier games. Practices were probably filled with rebounding, defense and ball-handling drills to help correct some of Louisiana’s weak spots. 

I’m not sure exactly how different the practices were between their last loss and now, but whatever Head Coach Gary Brodhead did to improve, he needs to keep doing. Not only did Louisiana win their first game back in an exhilarating back and forth bout, but their second game back was an over ten-point deficit for their opponents. This showed, like in earlier games of the season when their confidence is high and all players contribute, Louisiana can be a dominant offensive force. 

In an exciting game against Arkansas State University, Louisiana secured a 67-65 overtime win. The game-winning shot came from one of Louisiana’s most consistent players, Brandi Williams. 

With less than two minutes to play in overtime, Williams drained a three-pointer. After that shot, Louisiana managed to keep Arkansas State from scoring for the remainder of the game. 

Williams was not the only player bringing a solid offense for Louisiana. Jomyra Mathis, Ty’Reona Doucet and Skyler Goodwin all contributed heavily to the Cajuns win as well. When more than just one player is producing offensively, the team is unstoppable. 

The next victory against Arkansas State was an even bigger point margin. This time it was not last-minute excitement that got Louisiana the win, but instead, a powerful first quarter that set the tone for the rest of the game. 

It seems in the fourth quarter, the Cajuns were close to succumbing to their old ways, unable to hold their lead. However, thankfully they were able to get back into their offensive momentum and outscore Arkansas State in the fourth quarter to finish the game. 

Again Williams, Doucet, Goodwin and Mathis showed out. Louisiana’s defense was solid, they limited their own turnovers while forcing Arkansas State to have turnovers and they outrebounded their opponents. 

The Ragin’ Cajuns will face Texas State next in a similar back-to-back round of games before facing Arkansas State again in February. If the team sticks to this formula, they can’t be beat. 

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