Mar 2, 2013 6:26 PM by UL Sports Information
MONROE, La. - ULM used a 16-1 run late in the second half to open up a two-point game and claim a 64-50 decision over Louisiana on Saturday afternoon in Fant-Ewing Coliseum on the ULM campus.
The loss drops Louisiana to 9-20 on the year and 3-17 in Sun Belt play. ULM improves to 9-20 and 7-13 in SBC action.
The loss means the Cajuns will enter next week's Sun Belt Conference championship is the No. 11 seed and face 10th-seeded North Texas on Friday, March 8 at 2:00 p.m. in first round action in Hot Springs, Ark.
"We just didn't do a good enough job of guarding down the stretch," first-year Louisiana head coach Garry Brodhead said. "We made a run to put ourselves into a position to take the lead but then we didn't execute offensively and took a couple of poor shots and then let ULM go to the other end and get some open shots.
"This team has come a long way since the season started in November and I am proud of them. To play tough league games like this with only seven scholarship players available and then battle for the win until the final minutes, speaks volumes about the desire that this team has.
"ULM really hurt us inside and we didn't have enough bodies to guard their big girl (Simmons). Ashley Benjamin picked up two real quick fouls and couldn't play as aggressively as she would have liked and that allowed ULM to continually go inside for layups," Brodhead said.
Despite playing with an injured knee that almost kept her out of the game, Keke Veal was the only Ragin' Cajuns player that scored in double figures, scoring 21 points, her second 20-point game of the week. Jasmin Mills scored three points adding a career-high 14 rebounds.
Ashleigh Simmons led ULM with 27 points and 14 rebounds, going 10-for-11 from the field and seven-for-eight from the stripe. Alexar Tugler added 14 points.
"Keke had another good night, even though she was probably about 50-percent because of her knee," Brodhead said. "The injury stopped her from getting that first step that usually gets her to the basket."
After the Cajuns battled back from nine points down in the second half to make it a 46-44 game on a short jumper by Robbie Brown with 6:10 left, ULM quickly ran off nine points, starting with two straight baskets by Tugler, including a three-pointer, to open up a 55-44 lead with 4:19 left.
After a free throw by Benajamin, Tugler made another trey and Simmons scored four straight points to extend the lead to out the game away, leading 62-45 with 2:15 left.
Louisiana struggled offensively all game, shooting just. 210 from the field (13-62), including a four-for-22 effort from three-point (.182). The only good news was at the foul line where UL was 20-for-26 (.769).
ULM had a good day shooting, going 25-for-53 from the field (.472) and 11-for-14 from the line (.786) while owning a 44-37 rebounding advantage.
The Cajuns forced 23 ULM turnovers while committing just 13, owning a 13-8 edge in points off turnovers and 16-5 lead in second chance points. Neither were enough to overcome the 40-16 edge that ULM had scoring in the paint.
The Cajuns had early leads of 3-0 and 8-7 (14:10) on treys by Veal and Schambough, respectively before the Warhawks ran off five straight to open up a 12-8 lead with 12:32 left.
The lead would grow to 20-14 on a Jasmine Taylor basket inside with 7:19 remaining, but Veal would score a pair of field goals and after a ULM basket by Ashleigh Simmons, Schambough knocked down a long trey to pull Louisiana to within 22-21 with 3:43 left.
The rest of the half belonged to the Warhawks as Simmons made a pair of free throws and Jasmine Shaw scored on three-point play to give ULM a 27-21 lead at halftime.