"A lot of our girls are maybe familiar with what Louisiana Tech was, but I knew what it was," said head coach Garry Brodhead. "I spent a lot of time at Tech as a young coach looking at what coach (Leon) Barmore did. When they came here, I never missed a game. To be the first coach and be a part of the first team at UL to beat them is pretty big. I'm excited for our girls. It's a first. That's what our statement was today was let's be the first to be the first. This is one of the biggest wins since we've been here. That's how you build. You build from one step at a time, and this is a big one."
In the final seconds, Chrisstasia Walter's three-point attempt for Louisiana Tech (1-2) hit the rim, and Louisiana pulled out the historic victory and snapped the Lady Techsters' 39-game winning streak over the Cajuns.
With 3:27 to play, a three by Kanedria Andrews tied the game for the first time at 53-all, but Kia Wilridge answered for the Cajuns with a drive to the basket to put Louisiana up 55-53 with 1:55 to play. The Cajuns stretched it to 58-53 with one minute to play after three-straight free throws, but a jumper by JaQuan Jackson made it 58-55 with 35 seconds remaining.
After two missed free throws by the Cajuns, a turnover by the Lady Techsters gave the ball back to Louisiana with 14 ticks left on the clock. Louisiana Tech drew a charge down in the paint to get the ball back with nine seconds but Walter's three would come up short.
Louisiana led the entire way as the Cajuns were in control for a majority of the first half, stretching their lead to as much as 18 at 32-14 at the 2:15 mark in the first period.
"I thought we played really well on the defensive side as well as the offensive side," Brodhead said. "We were very patient in finding good openings and great shots, but I think it was the defense that got them out of what they wanted to do. On the offensive side in the first half, I thought we did an excellent job of taking care of the ball and taking really good shots. We played as a team today."
Kia Wilridge led the Cajuns with 18 points while also recording a team-best five assists. Jaylyn Gordon added 15 points with three treys and six rebounds.
"Kia did a good job of getting to the rim and finding people and Jaylyn shot the ball extremely well," Brodhead said. "They made some big plays, especially at the end of the game. All of our guards did a great job of handling the ball and taking care of it."
Andrews led the Lady Techsters with 14 points, shooting 4-of-8 from behind the arc. Jackson added 12 points and four assists while Whitney Frazier added 10 points for Louisiana Tech.
Louisiana took an 8-4 advantage into the first media timeout as the teams traded baskets over the next several minutes. After a jumper by Kelia Shelton to make it 15-12, the Cajuns put together a 10-0 run with three-pointers from Gordon and Keke Veal to take a 25-12 lead with 8:18 to play in the half.
With the Cajuns holding a 27-14 lead, both teams went silent on the offensive end over the next several minutes until Gordon knocked down a shot from outside then added a layup to give Louisiana its largest lead of the game at 32-14. The Lady Techsters ended the half on a 5-0 run as the Cajuns took a 32-19 lead into halftime.
Louisiana Tech mounted a run to begin the second half with a 9-2 spurt in the first five minutes out of the break. With 9:28 to play, Tiara Davenport pulled the Lady Techsters within two at 41-39, but the Cajuns answered with a 7-0 run, capped off by a three from Gordon to make it 48-39 with 7:58 remaining in the game.
"We talked in timeouts when they were making their run that we have to make stops so we can't let them get in their press," Brodhead said. "They drove it to the goal a couple of times and then they got in the press and we turned it over a couple of times. It got them in their game. We got it back together. We were able to guard and make some stops toward the last minute or so and that was big for us."
Louisiana shot 49 percent from the field while holding the Lady Techsters to 38 percent. Louisiana Tech finished 8-of-25 from behind the arc while the Cajuns were 4-of-9 from long range.
The Cajuns travel to Hammond on Saturday when they take on Southeastern Louisiana in a 2 p.m. contest at the University Center.