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Ragin' Cajuns Leave Eagles Bewildered, Stretch Win Streak to Three Games

KLFY Lafayette 1/27/2023 George Faust
Ragin' Cajuns Leave Eagles Bewildered, Stretch Win Streak to Three Games © Provided by KLFY Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns Leave Eagles Bewildered, Stretch Win Streak to Three Games

STATESBORO, Ga. – The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Women’s Basketball used a hot-shooting second quarter to seize control and its patented defense to frustrate Georgia Southern the entire night in collecting a 68-58 road win at Hanner Fieldhouse in Statesboro, Georgia.

 

Louisiana (12-9, 6-3 SBC) connected on 63 percent (10-of-16) of its shots in the momentum-turning second quarter, piling up 28 points to erase a one-point deficit and grab a 41-25 halftime lead. Included in the torrid onslaught during the frame was a 5-of-6 showing from three-point range which included makes from Lanay Wheaton (2), Tamera Johnson (1), Destiny Rice (1) and Sherry Porter (1).

 

Georgia Southern (13-5, 5-4 SBC) made a push in the third quarter using an 18-3 run to create a two-possession game at 49-45 in the final minute of the period.

 

The Ragin’ Cajuns defense, which held the Eagles who were averaging 87.1 points per game to their lowest point total of the season, rose up in the fourth quarter to win the battle.

 

It started with Johnson drawing a crucial charge with 6:14 remaining to wipe out a potential three-point play and keep the Eagles at arm’s length at 55-51. Then after a pair of free throws pulled Georgia Southern within a pair at 6:03, Louisiana went into shut down mode not allowing any points over the next five minutes.

 

While the defense did its work, the offense rediscovered its rhythm and generated a 9-0 run down the stretch that sealed the victory.

 

Johnson knocked down a pair of clutch free throws at the 5:01 mark to regain the two-possession lead, then inside of three minutes to play Wheaton delivered a five-point spurt all by herself by banking home a paint jumper and capitalizing on an Eagles miss with a triple at 3:01 that extended the lead to 62-53.

 

Porter delivered the final dagger when she banked in a running jumper as the shot clock was expiring with 1:33 left to play, returning the margin to double figures for good.

 

Louisiana outshined Georgia Southern on offense, shooting 42 percent (26-of-62) overall and 40 percent (8-of-20) from three-point range, as its defense limited the Eagles to their lowest shooting percentage of the season at 35.2 percent (19-of-54) and second-fewest three-point makes.

 

The Ragin’ Cajuns won the rebound battle over an Eagles squad that entered the night averaging 47-plus boards, finishing with a 42-35 advantage which included a 16-11 edge on the offensive glass. Louisiana also ended a string of a high amount of turnovers with just 16 which kept Georgia Southern to only seven points off of turnovers.

 

Nine different players scored for Louisiana led by Wheaton (19), Rice (12), Johnson (11) and Porter (11) who each scored double figures. Wheaton and Porter paced the Ragin’ Cajuns’ three-point efforts with three triple each.

 

It was the fourth straight outing that Wheaton scored at least 18 points. Johnson picked up 11 rebounds to notch a double-double for the second straight game (10 pts, 12 reb vs. ASU) and fifth time overall this season.

 

Louisiana extended its series win streak over Georgia Southern to four games and increased its all-time series lead to 12-3. The Ragin’ Cajuns won at Hanner Fieldhouse for the first time since February 2018, snapping a two-game losing streak in Statesboro.

 

Thursday’s game completed the first half of Sun Belt Conference play. With James Madison’s loss, the Ragin’ Cajuns moved within one game of first place in the standings as the second half of the league slate arrives on Saturday, January 28.

 

UP NEXT FOR LOUISIANA

Louisiana departed for Boone, North Carolina immediately following Thursday’s game in Statesboro to close out this week’s road trip.

 

The Ragin’ Cajuns are slated to face App State (8-12, 4-5 SBC) on Saturday, January 28 in a 1:00 p.m. (CST) matinee at the Holmes Convocation Center.

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