HOUSTON, La – Costly turnovers and a strong push by Houston in the fourth quarter was too much for Louisiana to overcome in a 63-51 defeat to the Cougars on Sunday afternoon at the Fertitta Center.
The Ragin’ Cajuns (6-2) led the contest at halftime, but were unable to extend its advantage after turning the ball over 21 times. Despite the turnovers, the team played well on the offensive side of the floor, shooting 40 percent (19-for-48).
Point guard Destiny Rice was a bright spot, leading her team with 13 points, five rebounds and five assists, the second time she has had five or more assists in a game this year. Senior Ty’Reona Doucet had a productive outing as well, falling one rebound shy of her second-straight double-double with 12 points and nine boards, while Makayia Hallmon also contributed a double-figure performance with 11 points.
After Houston (5-5) led for the entirety of the first quarter, Louisiana found its groove in the second period and used an 11-4 run capped by a pair of made free throws from Hallmon to take a 25-23 lead with 5:44 to play in the first half, the team’s first lead of the day.
Ashlyn Jones, who scored four points and brought down four rebounds, pushed the lead to 29-24 before a made Cougar layup late in the quarter cut the Ragin’ Cajuns’ lead to 29-26 at the break.
Houston stole the momentum back in a flash early in the third quarter with three-straight 3-pointers in the span of 1:28 to go up 38-31 and force a Cajun timeout. That lead held firm for the remainder of the period, but Doucet was able to pull her side within 42-37 with a layup just before the start of the fourth quarter.
The Ragin’ Cajuns gave their all in the final 10 minutes of game play, but were outscored 21-14 in the period as the Cougars claimed the 63-51 victory.
Louisiana returns to action on Wednesday, Dec. 15, when it welcomes LSU-Shreveport to the CAJUNDOME for the annual Education Day game. Tipoff is slated for 11 a.m. and will be streamed live on ESPN+.