Ragin’ Cajuns Push JMU Dukes to the Limit in Saturday Bout
HARRISONBURG, Va. – Brandi Williams scored a season-high 20 points and the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Women's Basketball team worked around Tamera Johnson being in foul trouble in a valiant effort to complete a two-game Sun Belt road weekend sweep, however James Madison struck quick in overtime and claimed a 77-72 win on Saturday, January 6 at Atlantic Union Bank Center in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Williams willed the Ragin' Cajuns (5-7, 1-2 SBC) back into the lead after JMU (11-4, 3-0 SBC) scored the first six points of the second half to break a 33-all deadlock and stretched the lead out to 55-48 with 8:25 left to play.
Starting with her jumper at 7:48, Williams ignited a 13-4 run that vaulted the Cajuns back into the lead. Along the way there were three-point plays from Nubia Benedith and Jaylyn James followed by the three-pointer from Williams at 3:30 that gave UL a 61-59 lead.
The Cajuns got 12 points from Williams during the second half battle back.
The Dukes bought extra time when they found an inside basket from Jami Hazell with 0:52 left in regulation to draw even at 61-all. UL had the last shot, however Destiny Rice's jumper rimmed out and the contest headed to overtime.
JMU scored inside on its first two touches of overtime, part of a 7-0 spurt to start the extra session, and limited the Cajuns to one field goal make until the final 25 seconds in building a 76-64 advantage.
Louisiana continued to battle and maximized its use of the final seconds, getting triples from Williams and Uniyah Franklin to slice the deficit to 77-72. On the ensuing possession it Williams collecting a steal and making a way to an opening from beyond the arc, but the shot was off mark and the Dukes were finally able to exhale.
The Cajuns shot 50 percent (13-of-26) in the first half to stay in step with the Dukes. The 20 points produced in the first quarter marked a third 20-point quarter in the past four stanzas dating back to ODU.
In the second quarter UL posted a 7-0 run and held JMU scoreless for a near five-minute stretch (from 7:47 through 3:00) to pull ahead 29-22 and maintain control of the game in the early stages.
Jaylyn James continued to shine off the bench, finishing as the Cajuns' second-leading scorer with 12 points. Johnson had 10 points and four offensive rebounds before fouling out with 2:26 remaining in regulation and the Cajuns clinging to a 61-59 advantage.
Louisiana battled on the boards with one of the nation's Top 5 rebounding clubs, the Dukes coming away with a slim 34-31 edge. Williams' five rebounds led a group of four Cajuns who collected at least four boards.
UP NEXT FOR LOUISIANA
Louisiana moves to the back half of its new-year opening, four-game road trip which takes the Ragin' Cajuns to Troy and Arkansas State from January 10-13.
The contests with the Trojans and Red Wolves mark Louisiana's first outings with Sun Belt West Division foes this season.
Both the Wednesday, January 10 matchup in Troy, Alabama and the Saturday, January 13 outing in Jonesboro, Arkansas are part of doubleheaders with the UL men's squad
Next week's action begins at 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday in Troy, the meeting with the Trojans airing live on ESPN+ and radio coverage available on The GOAT 103.3 FM and 1420 AM and the Varsity Network app.
FOLLOW THE RAGIN' CAJUNS