Late Rally Lifts Louisiana Women’s Basketball Against Rice 73-69
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns women's basketball team completed a massive fourth quarter comeback to beat the Rice Owls 73-69.
With the win, the Cajuns improved to 2-0 on the season.
Rice took an early 4-2 lead, but a three-pointer by Cajuns guard Brandi Williams was part of a 5-0 run to give Louisiana a 7-4 lead midway through the first quarter.
The two teams went back-and-forth for the rest of the first quarter with five total lead changes. After a buzzer-beating three-pointer was ruled to have occurred after the first quarter clock expired, the Cajuns trailed Rice 16-14.
To start the second quarter, a steal and layup tied the game, and then another steal had the Cajuns in great position to take the lead, but a questionable charging call on Ty'Reona Doucet gave Louisiana's star forward her third foul.
Without Doucet, the Cajuns offense struggled for a stretch. Rice went on an 11-3 lead to take a 27-19 lead. Louisiana trailed 33-22 at the break.
Freshman forward Tamera Johnson led the way for the Cajuns with seven points on 3-3 shooting. Louisiana's offense was only 9-27 from the field in the first half and 1-9 from three-point range. They also only hit three of their eight free throw attempts, but their defense kept the game within striking distance. Rice had 15 turnovers in the first half, and 10 of the Cajuns 22 points came off of those turnovers.
Louisiana opened the third quarter by scoring six quick points, but Rice also started off well, opening up a 12-point, 40-28 lead.
Both teams were effective from the floor during the third quarter, so every run the Cajuns went on was answered by the Owls. Louisiana scored 19 points on 8-15 shooting in the third after only managing eight points in the second, but Rice scored 20 in the quarter. The Owls held a 53-41 lead going into the final frame.
Williams led a 5-0 run to start the fourth quarter and get the Cajuns within seven points. With four minutes left, the seven point deficit remained with Louisiana trailing 62-55. The Cajuns needed a late run to pull off the comeback.
Williams got them off to a great start with a four-point play to make it 62-59. Doucet hit a few shots to answer Rice and keep it a three-point game with two minutes remaining. Williams hit a shot and drew the foul for a three-point play, and the Cajuns tied it at 66.
Two free throws by the Owls gave them a 68-66 lead with a minute left before Johnson tied it up with a jumper. A steal gave the Cajuns the ball back with 40 seconds left
Makayia Hallmon nailed a jumper with 26 seconds left, and, for the first time since it was 12-11 in the first quarter, the Cajuns had the lead at 70-68.
Rice split two free throws, and Williams hit both of her free throws with nine seconds left to stretch the lead out to 72-69.
A missed three-pointer by the Owls and a late free throw secured the massive 73-69 comeback victory.
Louisiana was unbelievable from the floor in the fourth quarter. They scored 32 points, hitting 10 of their 11 shots and three of their four three-pointers.
Williams finished with 23 points on 7-9 shooting. The Cajuns also had four other players in double figures.
A huge issue in the game for the Cajuns was rebounding. Rice out-rebounded Louisiana 42-19, but Louisiana made up for it by forcing 26 turnovers by the Owls.
Up next, the Cajuns play LSU in the Cajundome on Thursday, Nov. 18 at 6:00 p.m.