The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns rallied from a 15-point deficit in the third quarter Thursday night but fell short in a 62-60 loss to UT Arlington in the Sun Belt Conference opener for both teams.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
The two teams went back and forth for the majority of the first quarter until UTA closed out the opening quarter on a 7-3 run as Camryn Hawkins scored five of those points. At the end of the first, the Lady Mavericks held a 22-17 lead.
With 5:35 left in the second, the Ragin’ Cajuns managed to cut the lead down to 29-26 after a fast break jumper by Makayia Hallmon. The Lady Mavericks would answer by closing out the second quarter on a 12-2 run.
At the break, UTA held a 41-28 lead and was shooting 51.6 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from three-point range.
With 4:14 left in the third, Louisiana managed to make it a single-digit deficit after a pair of free throws by Ty Doucet. By the end of the quarter, UTA still had a 10-point lead.
After UTA hit a free throw to extend its lead to 11 points to start the fourth, Louisiana started heating up. Lanay Wheaton made a driving layup, followed by jumpers from Hallmon and Destiny Rice and then a layup by Tamera Johnson.
Hallmon then made another jumper which made it 57-56 with 5:51 left.
After a layup by UTA’s Starr Jacobs, Louisiana cut it down to one again as Doucet put back her own miss.
The Ragin’ Cajuns then took their first lead since holding a 4-2 advantage with Johnson stealing the ball at midcourt and then driving to the lane and making the layup.
UTA retook the lead on a layup by Terryn Milton. After not scoring on the next possession, Louisiana fouled three straight times after the inbounds pass to try to get into the bonus and force UTA to the line. The Ragin’ Cajuns forced a jump ball on the fourth inbound pass and flipped possession. Louisiana had a couple of looks at the go-ahead bucket but failed to drain either shot.
UTA made one final free throw and got out of the Cajundome with a two-point victory.
BIG NUMBER: 15
Louisiana trailed by as many as 15 points in the third quarter of Thursday night’s game. The Ragin’ Cajuns would outscore the Lady Mavericks 32-21 in the final two quarters.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: TY DOUCET
Louisiana senior Ty Doucet made big buckets down the stretch which nearly brought the Ragin’ Cajuns back. Doucet would end the game with a double-double as she scored 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
UP NEXT: Louisiana returns to action on New Year’s Day as they host Texas State. Tip is set for 2 p.m.