The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns overcame a shaky start to beat the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks 66-58 on Thursday evening in the Cajundome. The win pushed the Cajuns’ winning streak to five and moved them to just a half game back of conference leading Troy, who Louisiana will face on Saturday.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Alicia Blanton led Louisiana with 6 points in an overall sluggish first quarter of action. Both teams shot just 27% from the field and combined for 10 turnovers, with the score being tied at 10.
The second quarter began with the teams trading 6-0 runs. At that point, the Warhawks would surge ahead behind Olivia Knight. She led the Warhawks with 8 first half points, making all four of her field goal attempts. The Warhawks led 24-20 at the half. Alicia Blanton led all scorers at the break with 10 points, which also accounted for half of Louisiana’s entire total.
ULM would maintain its lead throughout the third quarter. However, the Warhawks were unable to extend the lead past six. Late in the period, the Cajuns would go on a 6-0 run and briefly retake the lead. Two free throws by Katlyn Manuel would give the Warhawks a 38-37 lead heading to the fourth quarter.
Louisiana would start the fourth quarter on a huge run. Eight straight points to start the quarter were capped off by the first made three-point shot for either team, courtesy of Nubia Benedith. The Cajuns led 45-38 at that point and would not relinquish that lead. Tamera Johnson’s old fashioned three-point play gave Louisiana the first double-digit lead of the game at 56-46 with 2:28 to play. The Warhawks would fight back, but not get closer than five points down to close.
BIG NUMBER: 24
Louisiana forced 24 ULM turnovers. Those turnovers led to 23 Cajuns’ points in the victory.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Alicia Blanton
Blanton led all scorers in this one with 15 points. She also contributed four rebounds and three assists. Her offense kept Louisiana in the game early and also helped to close it out.
UP NEXT: Louisiana (13-9, 8-3 SBC) stays at home to face conference-leading Troy on Saturday in the Cajundome at 2:00 PM.