LAFAYETTE — Before the Louisiana-Lafayette women’s basketball team runs into a rigorous 19-game Sun Belt Conference stretch, there’s a chance for the Ragin’ Cajuns to rebound — in a couple of ways.
Bouncing back from a loss to Louisiana Tech is one order of business for the Cajuns (7-2) when they take on Alcorn State (2-7) in their final nonconference game at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Cajundome.
A big part of that effort is a need to corral more missed shots after the Lady Techsters doubled up the Cajuns on the boards 52-26.
“We have to get some rebounds,” coach Garry Brodhead said. “We have to do a good job of blocking out and going to get balls. Another thing is posting up. We need to post up stronger and get some touches inside. We need to be able to make a move and score.”
When the Cajuns and Alcorn State met last season in Lorman, Mississippi, rebounding was one thing that helped the Braves push the contest to overtime before the Cajuns came away with a 64-57 win. Alcorn achieved a 38-26 rebounding edge and a 13-4 advantage on the offensive glass. The Cajuns allowed 20 offensive boards against Louisiana Tech.
“We talk about it daily in practice: ‘Hey, great stop, but we need to get the rebound,’ ” Brodhead said. “All five people on the defensive side need to rebound. I told them, ‘If everybody blocks out, I guarantee you Kia (Wilridge) is coming up with the rebound.’ She goes to get them.”
Another item that helped fuel the Braves in last year’s game was a 25-point effort from Norianna Haynes, who is now a senior.
“She reminds me of Alexis Green that played at UL a few years back,” Brodhead said. “She looks like she can’t move (fast), but she is really athletic and she can create a lot of offense for herself.”
Alcorn junior forward Henrietta Wells hauled down nine rebounds to lead the Braves on the boards in the matchup last year.
“Wells reminds me of (Cajuns player) Breionne Cooper,” Brodhead said. “She is long and athletic. She is active.”
But the biggest individual challenge will come courtesy of Haynes, who made eight field goals and went 7-of-9 from the line last year.
“We have to know where Haynes is at all times,” Brodhead said. “She can score many different ways.
“She is very good at making you foul her and getting to the line. That will be a good test for us.”