LAFAYETTE – Louisiana could not have asked for a better start to the 2021-22 season, dominating on both sides of the floor to pick up an impressive 84-58 victory over Texas A&M-Kingsville on Tuesday night.
Freshman Tamera Johnson led the way, scoring a game-high 16 points to pace four Ragin’ Cajuns in double figures. Johnson finished the night 6-for-7 from the floor and 2-for-3 from long range as the team shot 48 percent (29-for-60) overall and 44 percent (8-for-18) from behind the arc.
As impressive as the offense was all night, the defense came to play, holding TAMUK to just 23 first-half points and forcing 12 turnovers, which it turned into 17 points.
Louisiana (1-0) only turned the ball over four times during the contest and did a good job sharing the rock with 13 assists, six of which came from Destiny Rice, who also contributed eight points and five rebounds.
The Ragin’ Cajuns came out firing in the season opener, jumping out to a 17-3 lead following a pair of free throws from Alicia Blanton, who scored six points and hauled in four rebounds in her first career game.
Texas A&M-Kingsville clawed its way back into things, answering with an 11-5 run, but two free throws late in the quarter gave the Ragin’ Cajuns a 23-14 through one.
It was all about the defense in the second quarter, which held the visitors to just nine points and a 21.4 shooting percentage to allow the Louisiana offense to open up a sizable 41-23 advantage at the break.
Both teams came out sizzling to start the second half, combining for 49 points in the third stanza. However, a pair of Williams free throws 1:14 into the period saw Louisiana maintain a 20-point lead for the remainder of the game.
Newcomer Ashlyn Jones made a pair of free throws with 2:23 showing on the clock, giving the Ragin’ Cajuns their largest lead of the game at 84-51.
From there, the Cajuns were able to ride out the game comfortably despite a 7-0 run from Texas A&M-Kingsville to close out the contest to secure the 84-58 triumph.
Louisiana will get its first taste of road play on Saturday, Nov. 13, when it travels to Houston to take on the Rice Owls. The contest, which was scheduled to be played in Lafayette, will begin at 7 p.m.