Big first quarter sets tone for Louisiana’s 70-58 win at Arkansas State

Cajun Nation

(UL ATHLETICS PRESS RELEASE) – Louisiana got off to hot start in the first quarter and maintained the lead on Saturday for 38:44 to lock up a weekend sweep of Arkansas State and extend its winning streak to three games with a 70-58 victory in Jonesboro.

Despite falling behind for the first time early in the fourth quarter, the Ragin’ Cajuns (4-5, 3-1 Sun Belt) offense began to click again at the right time and outscored the Red Wolves, 18-4, in the final 9:13 of game. Louisiana finished the contest with a 44 percent (25-for-57) shooting percentage.

Junior Brandi Williams led the way in the score column with 18 points, while Ty’Reona Doucet and Skyler Goodwin each contributed 14 points. The trio also combined for 18 of the team’s 40 rebounds.

Coming off a huge performance on Friday night, senior Jomyra Mathis continued to shine and notched her first double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Mathis’ double-double was the fourth of her career and her first since notching 11 points and 10 boards at Coastal Carolina on Feb. 29, 2020.

The team led Arkansas State on the glass, 40-32, and forced 16 Red Wolves turnovers, which the Ragin’ Cajuns were able to turn into 16 points.

Louisiana was firing on all cylinders from the opening tip and jumped out to an early 11-0 lead 4:28 into the game. The lead did not dip below eight points before Mathis extended it to 22-8 at the horn when she drained a triple off of an Arkansas State turnover.

The double-digit advantage was maintained throughout the second quarter and reached as high as 34-18 courtesy of a Williams 3-pointer before Arkansas State caught some momentum and cut its deficit to 34-25 with 25 seconds remaining. However, Williams was able to draw contact and make two free throws just before the break to put her team up 36-25.

Arkansas State (9-3, 4-2 Sun Belt) seized the momentum in the third quarter, outscoring Louisiana, 26-16, in the period and cutting the lead to one point three times in the final 2:58.

Morgan Wallace, who posted 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Red Wolves, put her team in front for the only time on Saturday 47 seconds into the fourth quarter when her driving layup put A-State ahead, 54-52. However, Williams once again found her clutch gene and dropped in one of her four triples 18 seconds later to put Louisiana back on top.

From that moment on, Louisiana tightened its grip on defense and held Arkansas State scoreless over the next 7:01 while growing its advantage in the process. Goodwin and Mathis sealed the deal in the final 1:12 of the contest, scoring the team’s final five points to lock up the sweep with a 70-58 win.

Louisiana returns to action on Monday afternoon when it makes the quick drive through the Natural State to take on Little Rock. Tipoff from the Jack Stephens Center is slated for 5:30 p.m. CT.

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