Feb 1, 2014 11:37 PM by UL Sports Information
LAFAYETTE, La. - The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns women's basketball dropped their fifth straight game, falling to ULM, 66-59, at the Cajundome on Saturday evening. The Cajuns fell to 10-10 on the season and 3-6 in Sun Belt action.
Kia Wilridge scored a season-high 15 points and freshman Gabby Alexander scored a career-high 12 points to lead the Cajuns. Fellow freshman Braile Fields also reached double-digits, scoring 11 points.
"I don't think we played our best tonight," head coach Garry Brodhead said. "We didn't play very well in the first half but we kept them from scoring. Our goal was to keep them under 60 points and we didn't do that. They scored 40 in the second half and we didn't do a good job of getting back on defense and guarding in the post."
After a slow start to the first half with just 17 combined points in the first seven minutes, the Cajuns and Warhawks found their offensive strides offensively, adding 38 combined points in the next 13 minutes, while shooting a combined 21-for-25 from the free throw line.
The Cajuns opened the game with a 3-0 lead, before ULM started an 8-0 run to take the lead.
ULM's Jasmine Shaw hit a layup with 3:53 left in the half to give the Warhawks their biggest leadoff the half, 24-18. The Cajuns responded quickly with an 12-2 run to finish the half, taking a 29-26 lead. Wilridge scored all six of her first-half points, for half of the Cajuns points during the run.
The Warhawks battled back in the second half, retaking the lead after a layup by Sharnice Brown, making it 38-37 with 14:36 left in the game.
The teams traded baskets for the next two minutes, before Alexar Tugler hit a pair of free throws to give the Warhawks the last lead of the game, 44-43 with 11:11 left in the game.
The Cajuns fell into foul trouble in the second half, picking up their 10th foul of the game with 10:38 left in the game, going to double-bonus. The Warhawks took advantage of that, scoring 23 of the next 34 points in the game, to take a nine-point lead, their biggest of the game, with 53 seconds remaining.
The Ragin' Cajuns saw a reversal of their free throw success from the first half, going 3-for-12 from the line in the final 20 minutes, finishing the game 13-for-23, compared to 20-for-30 for the Warhawks.
Alexander scored her career-high points in her second career start and first since Nov. 15 against Sam Houston State. She also tied her career-high in rebounds and set a new career-high in minutes played with 29.
"[Alexander] played well in the first half," Brodhead said. "She just isn't used to getting the kind of minutes she got tonight and she got tired. We are trying to teach them how to fight through fatigue and adversity right now. I think she can be a really good player when she learns how to do that."
The Cajuns will take to the road to continue Sun Belt play with a pair of games in the state of Texas against UT Arlington and Texas State. The Cajuns open the trip with a Thursday matinee at UT Arlington, tipping off at noon on Feb. 6 with the Mavericks, before taking on Texas State at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 8.