MOBILE, Ala. — Keke Veal and Kia Wilridge combined to score 26 points, but the Louisiana-Lafayette women’s basketball team shot a season-low 24 percent from the floor and dropped a 57-47 decision at South Alabama in a Sun Belt Conference game on Thursday at the Mitchell Center.
Veal scored a game-high 14 points for Louisiana-Lafayette (13-6, 5-5 Sun Belt) while Wilridge chipped in with 12. The Ragin’ Cajuns forced South Alabama (4-15, 1-9 Sun Belt) into 26 turnovers, but scored 16 points off Jaguars miscues while finishing 16-for-67 (23.9 percent) from the floor and 3-for-21 (14.3 percent) from behind the 3-point line.
“We played hard on the defensive end, but we couldn’t convert the turnovers into points,” coach Garry Brodhead said. “We weren’t aggressive enough on the offensive end and did not guard them nearly as good as we needed to in the halfcourt.”
South Alabama scored the first seven points of the game as Breanna Hall hit a 3-pointer with Marquita Daniels and Chyna Ellis converting on layups. Louisiana-Lafayette, which went 5-for-33 (15.2 percent) from the floor in the opening half, got as close as 9-8 on a bucket by Veal with 14:30 remaining before South Alabama scored the next six points for a 15-8 lead.
After a pair of free throws by Veal cut the lead to 17-14 with 5:01 remaining in the first half, South Alabama would score the next seven points to push its lead to double-digits before taking a 24-16 lead at halftime.
A 3-pointer by Amber Yelding gave South Alabama its biggest lead of the game, 35-23, with 15:18 remaining and the never let the Ragin’ Cajuns get closer than five points the rest of the way.
Ellis posted a double-double for South Alabama with 13 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Hall added 12 points for the Jaguars with Taylor Jenkins adding nine points and 11 rebounds.
Adrienne Prejean and Jaylyn Gordon pulled down six rebounds each for Louisiana with Simone Fields grabbing five.
Louisiana-Lafayette will return to action on Saturday when it travels to San Marcos, Texas, to face Texas State in a 2 p.m. contest at Strahan Coliseum.