Second Half Surge Lifts Cajuns

BEAUMONT, Texas – Sophomore guard Jaylyn Gordon scored 18 second half points and the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns women's basketball team outscored Lamar 38-23 in the second period to record a 75-55 season-opening win Friday night at the Montagne Center.

"I thought we played with a lot of effort tonight," said head coach Garry Brodhead. "I love playing here (Montagne Center). It's a great basketball arena. We shot the ball well and played with a lot of effort defensively. I think we showed up tonight ready to play."

Gordon came off the bench to lead the Cajuns with 22 points on 4-of-5 shooting from outside. Keke Veal added 13 points and a team-high five assists, while Gabby Alexander totaled 11 points and a team-high eight boards.

"The play of Keke Veal and Jaylyn Gordon was great, I thought they played extremely well at the guard position," Brodhead said.

Louisiana grabbed a 10-4 lead in the first five minutes of the game, receiving contributions from five different Cajuns. However, Lamar put together a quick 8-0 spurt over the next minute and a half to take a 12-10 advantage after four-straight points from Baileigh O'Dell to cap off the run.

Teams traded baskets over the next several minutes until Louisiana posted a 6-0 run to regain the lead at 20-16 after a Simone Fields basket with 9:29 to play in the half.

The Lady Cardinals evened the contest at 22-all with six minutes to play before Cienna Rodriguez knocked down a three to give Louisiana a 25-22 advantage.

Up 29-28, a Veal jumper and a layup by Alexander stretched the Cajuns' lead to 33-28 with 1:36 to play. Lamar would only get within three the remainder of the period as the Cajuns took a 37-32 lead into the half.

Brown and Veal combined for nine Louisiana points to begin the second half as the Cajuns opened up a 46-34 advantage three and a half minutes into the period.

Lamar responded again with a layup by Dominique Edwards and a three by O'Dell to pull the Lady Cardinals within seven at 46-39. However, Gordon gave the Cajuns a double-digit lead once again one minute later with her first triple of the game.

After two free throws by Edwards to make it a 49-41 game, the Cajuns reeled off an 8-0 thanks to a jumper by Alexander and back-to-back treys from Gordon to push the Louisiana lead to 57-41 with 9:42 to play.

Leading 63-49 with 7:32 to play, Louisiana added to its advantage with a 7-0 run with six points coming from Gordon to extend the game to 70-49.

The Cajuns maintained their sizeable lead the rest of the way, pulling out a 75-55 victory.

Louisiana shot 41 percent from the floor while holding Lamar to 33 percent. The Cajuns outrebounded the Lady Cardinals, 43-33, while also holding an advantage in assists (16-8) and steals (12-6).

Louisiana returns to the Cajundome on Tuesday at 7 p.m. for the squad's home opener against Xavier (La.).


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