MOBILE, Ala. — Trailing by five points at the break, Louisiana dug deep in the second half and outscored South Alabama, 42-30, to leave Mobile with a 71-64 road win on Saturday night.
The result improved the Ragin’ Cajuns (11-3, 3-1 Sun Belt) to 4-1 in games away from home this season and got the team’s three-game road swing off to a great start.
Senior Ty’Reona Doucet once again proved why she was named the Sun Belt Conference’s Preseason Player of the Year, following up Thursday’s huge double-double with 16 points and 18 rebounds in the win over the Jags. With back-to-back monster games, Doucet has moved into sixth place for career scoring with 1,288 points.
For a second consecutive game, the Ragin’ Cajuns had four players score in double figures after Lanay Wheaton led the way with a team-high 17 points, Makayia Hallmon scored 16 points and Tamera Johnson added 12 points.
Louisiana also did a great job controlling the glass, outrebounding South Alabama, 42-35, and outscoring the Jags 32-26 in the paint and holding a 19-12 in second-chance points.
Point guard Destiny Rice, who scored five points in the contest, gave Louisiana an early 3-2 lead by draining a triple, but an 8-0 run in the middle of the opening period saw the home team take a 12-5 advantage before Wheaton buried a jumper to end the run. A triple from Hallmon and four-straight points from Wheaton to end the quarter tied things up at 14-14.
After trading buckets early in the second quarter, South Alabama took advantage of a 9-0 run to take a 27-20 lead and force a Cajuns timeout. Louisiana locked down on defense and was able to cut into the deficit when Rice beat the buzzer to make the score 34-29 at halftime.
Louisiana stormed out of the gate to get the second half going, using a 7-0 run to go ahead 36-34 following a Johnson layup. The lead held firm throughout the quarter as the visitors took a two-point advantage into the final 10 minutes.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Ragin’ Cajuns were able to extend their advantage with a 7-2 run to go up 57-50 with 6:43 to go. The Jags were able to pull within two points, but back-to-back triples from Hallmon pushed the lead out to 64-56.
South Alabama mounted one final charge, pulling within five points with 23 seconds to play, but two late free throws secured the 71-64 victory.
Louisiana’s three-game road swing continues on Thursday, Jan. 20, when the Ragin’ Cajuns travel to Boone, N.C., to take on App State.