Oct 30, 2013 11:48 PM by UL Sports Information
LAFAYETTE, La. - The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns women's basketball team got their first experience of game action for the 2013-14 campaign on Wednesday night, defeating Loyola 77-65, at Earl K. Long Gym in Lafayette, La.
"With the many lineups we played today, I thought that we could have played better defensively," head coach Garry Brodhead said after the exhibition win. "We didn't do a great job pressuring the ball and getting in the lanes, but that is why we play these games, to see who is learning the defense and all that.
"At the same time they played with effort," Brodhead added. "They weren't shy about shooting the ball and we actually shot better from the three than we did the two. Sometimes we moved the ball and sometimes we didn't, probably because of the different lineups."
Sophomore guard, Sylvana Okde found a hot shooting touch in the first half, and led the all players with 16 points, despite being limited in the second half due to foul trouble. Also scoring double-digit points for the Cajuns was freshman Jaylyn Gordon (15) and sophomore Keke Veal (13).
Sophomore forward Jasmin Mills led Louisiana with eight boards, and Gordon added six assists, also for a team-lead.
The Cajuns will get one more warm-up for the regular season on Monday, Nov. 4, when they play the first game of a men-women doubleheader at the Cajundome. The women will be taking on Centenary College at 5 p.m.
Louisiana took an early 11-6 lead into the first media timeout, behind the hot shooting of sophomore Keke Veal. Veal scored eight of the Cajuns' first 11, sinking two shots behind the arc and adding a jumper.
Loyola picked up their offense out of the huddle, scoring 14 of the next 21 points to take a 20-18 lead with 11 minutes remaining in the half.
The Cajuns came back and took a 41-40 lead into the locker room at halftime, paced by sophomores Okde and Veal with 15 and 10 points, respectively. All of Okde's points came by way of three pointers, shooting 5-for-9 beyond the arc.
Louisiana went into the first media timeout of the half leading 49-46, and changed up their strategy on defense, coming out with a full court press on defense, changing the pace of the game.
Foul trouble would be a factor for the Cajuns, however. Okde, the Cajuns leading scorer was issued her fourth of the contest with 14:58 on the clock, and was limited from then on.
Okde would get tagged for her fourth foul with 14:58 left on the clock, and would see limited time from then-on-out.
"We will have to get better at our play without the ball," Brodhead said about the new, stricter NCAA rules on fouls. "We were playing too close to the opponents off the ball. Instead of playing down the line we were battling with our man off the ball."
With the full court press came a 12-1 run in favor of Louisiana and a 61-47 lead with 11:44 remaining on the clock.
Gordon added to an already impressive night just before the final media timeout, hitting back-to-back threes from well beyond the arc, to finish the night with 15 points.
"I though [Gordon] did an awesome job in the second half," Brodhead said. "She shot well, and she drove the lane, dropping some good passes, which gave some good looks."
The teams would trade points for the rest of the game, with the Cajuns going on to take a 77-65 lead at the final buzzer.
The Cajuns shot .340 (25-for-73) from the field and added 14 threes, shooting .359 (14-of-39) from beyond the arc. They also picked up 47 rebounds, including 22 on the offensive side.
The Ragin' Cajuns will return to the hardwood on Monday, Nov. 4, when they take on Centenary College at 5 p.m. in the first game of a Ragin' Cajuns basketball doubleheader. They will open the regular season on Nov. 8, when they take on Nebraska-Omaha at 7 p.m. at the Cajundome.