LAFAYETTE — It was a memorable win for the Louisiana-Lafayette women’s basketball team Saturday as the Cajuns scored their first victory over Louisiana Tech in program history with a 58-55 win.
What’s more, the team’s 3-0 start is its best since the 2004-05 season.
“A lot of our girls are maybe familiar with what Louisiana Tech was, but I knew what it was,” coach Garry Brodhead said. “I spent a lot of time at Tech as a young coach looking at what coach (Leon) Barmore did. When they came here, I never missed a game. To be the first coach and be a part of the first team at UL to beat them is pretty big. I’m excited for our girls. It’s a first. That’s what our statement was today was let’s be the first to be the first. This is one of the biggest wins since we’ve been here. That’s how you build. You build from one step at a time, and this is a big one.”
In the final seconds, Chrisstasia Walter’s 3-point attempt for Louisiana Tech (1-2) hit the rim, and the Ragin’ Cajuns halted the Lady Techsters’ 39-game winning streak over UL-Lafayette.
With 3:27 to play, a three by Kanedria Andrews tied the game for the first time at 53-53, but Kia Wilridge answered for the Cajuns with a drive to the basket for a 55-53 lead with 1:55 to play. The Cajuns stretched it to 58-53 with one minute to play after three-straight free throws, but a jumper by JaQuan Jackson made it 58-55 with 35 seconds remaining.
After two missed free throws by the Cajuns, a turnover by the Lady Techsters gave the ball back to UL-Lafayette with 14 seconds left on the clock. Louisiana Tech drew a charge down in the paint to get the ball back with 9 seconds, but Walter’s 3-point try came up short.
UL-Lafayette led the entire way as the Cajuns were in control for a majority of the first half, stretching their lead to as much as 18 at 32-14 at the 2:15 mark in the first period.
“I thought we played really well on the defensive side as well as the offensive side,” Brodhead said. “We were very patient in finding good openings and great shots, but I think it was the defense that got them out of what they wanted to do. On the offensive side in the first half, I thought we did an excellent job of taking care of the ball and taking really good shots. We played as a team today.”
Kia Wilridge led the Cajuns with 18 points and a team-best five assists. Jaylyn Gordon added 15 points with three 3-pointers and six rebounds.
“Kia did a good job of getting to the rim and finding people and Jaylyn shot the ball extremely well,” Brodhead said. “They made some big plays, especially at the end of the game. All of our guards did a great job of handling the ball and taking care of it.”
Andrews led the Lady Techsters with 14 points, shooting 4-of-8 from behind the arc. Jackson added 12 points and four assists while Whitney Frazier added 10 points.