The Ragin’ Cajuns’ women’s basketball season officially came to an end.
On Monday, March 11, Louisiana competed in the Sun Belt Conference tournament in Mobile, Alabama where they faced South Alabama in their first and final game of the tournament.
South Alabama came into the matchup as the seventh seed with a 20-9 overall record and a 9-9 SBC record.
Louisiana, on the other hand, had a 7-22 overall record and a 5-13 SBC record. Louisiana previously faced South Alabama on the road Jan. 24, losing 60-83. If Louisiana would have won this matchup, they would have headed to New Orleans to face Appalachian State but, the Ragin’ Cajuns lost the game 61-73.
The Ragin’ Cajuns only scored 14 points total in the first half. The team started to gain offensive momentum out of the half by scoring 18 points in the third quarter.
Entering the fourth quarter, Louisiana was losing 59-32. They had played three tough quarters and were almost able to come back in the fourth, thanks in part to the Cajun’s defense.
Sophomore center Ty’Reona Doucet commented on Louisiana’s ability to fight.
“What we showed in the first half, that’s not us, we knew we had to do better so we just fought. We wanted them to know that it wasn’t them but us, so we fought to the end,” Doucet said.
Doucet led the Ragin’ Cajuns with 15 points, 12 coming from the fourth quarter. Freshman guard Andrea Cournoyer added 10 points to that number.
Louisiana outscored South Alabama 29-14 in the fourth quarter. In terms of scoring, this was the best fourth quarter Louisiana has played all season. However, the gap was too big for the Cajuns to get the win.
Standout freshman guard Brandi Williams scored seven points all on her own. She ended her season with 384 points total, becoming the highest scoring freshman in Louisiana women’s basketball history. She also shot 87 percent at the free throw line, an SBC best.
Head Coach Garry Brodhead expressed his thoughts about the loss. He sighted South Alabama’s ability to move the ball, and Louisiana not having an answer for their inside or outside game as a problem.
“I just thought that South Alabama came out shooting the ball really well and we didn’t. In the first quarter we shot 25 percent and in the second quarter we shot 12 percent. I don’t know if it was their defense, but at the half, we both had the same amount of shots,” said Brodhead.
He decided to press in the second half to try to win the game.
“It was disappointing because we rely on our defense to make stops, the first half was real tough,” said Brodhead.
Looking ahead for next season, Brodhead said he believes they will continue to get better and learn from their losses.
“We learned that losses aren’t failures, I think as a team we understand that failure doesn’t exist, it’s something that if we stop and decide to quit then we’ve failed,” Brodhead said.
Brodhead added he wants to push his players to work harder in practice and become more consistent in games next season.
“As coaches, we can be a little bit more disciplined, we need to work a little bit harder, not just the players, but the coaches too,” Brodhead said. “Just showing up and being older is not going to do anything, we have to know that we’re going to be older and we can handle harder work.”