AUBURN, Ala. – A change in shooting fortune in the second half allowed Auburn to rally for a 60-54 victory over the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Women’s Basketball team on Thursday, November 9 at Neville Arena in Auburn, Alabama.
Louisiana (1-1) handcuffed Auburn (2-0) in the first half, holding the Tigers 23 percent shooting (7-for-30) in building a 25-16 advantage halftime lead.
The Tigers flipped the script in the second half by more than doubling their field goal percentage, shooting 48 percent (14-of-29) in outscoring the Cajuns 44-29 to rally for the right to hold a 2-0 start to the season at end the of the night.
UL was in control from the opening tip and on into the second half. The Ragin’ Cajuns were either leading, or tied, for all but 29 seconds of the first half, and wouldn’t yield the advantage until AU grabbed a 32-30 lead with 4:06 to play in the third quarter.
Auburn took advantage of a Louisiana turnover to pull ahead 37-36 at the end of the third, then started the fourth quarter with a 10-2 run to expand the lead to 47-38 with 6:22 remaining.
Over the next two minutes the Ragin’ Cajuns fought back with an 8-0 run to return the margin back to where it started at the top of the fourth quarter. Brandi Williams generated the first four points all her own with a made free throw and triple, then a paint jumper from Tamiah Robinson at 4:13 trimmed the Auburn lead to 47-46.
UL wasn’t able to recapture the lead down the stretch, though, as the Tigers found a critical three-point make twice in the final three minutes to create a two-possession game.
The final decisive basket came after Destiny Rice made a pair of free throws with 2:16 to play to make it 52-50 – the Tigers answered with an Honesty Scott-Grayson triple on the ensuing possession.
Louisiana’s effort had the squad on the verge of avenging a 40-point defeat at the hands of the Tigers last December in Neville Arena. The Cajuns narrowly missed out on their first SEC victory since December 2019 (W, 53-42 at Ole Miss).
LEADING THE RAGIN’ CAJUNS
Rice led a trio of Cajuns in double figures with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting and a 4-of-7 performance at the charity stripe. She poured in 10 points in the first half as Louisiana built its halftime edge.
Tamera Johnson accounted for 13 points, her production spread evenly between both halves (six in first half, seven in second half).
On the strength of three triples, Williams joined Rice and Johnson in double digits with a season-high 12 points.
Johnson and Rice shared team-leading honors with six rebounds. Robinson handed out three assists and Johnson, Williams and Ashlyn Jones each nabbed two steals.
UP NEXT FOR LOUISIANA
Louisiana wraps up the opening week of the 2023-24 season with the third and final game of the week on Sunday, November 12, taking on Kent State in the MAC-SBC Challenge at 4:00 p.m. inside the Cajundome.
Admission to Sunday’s game – and all UL Women’s Basketball games throughout the entire season – is free and open to the public.