STATESBORO, Ga. — Trailing 12-2 to open the game, the Louisiana-Lafayette women’s basketball team held Georgia Southern to 27 points over the last 35:18 to come away victorious, 56-39 Thursday afternoon at the Hanner Fieldhouse.
Fourth-year coach Garry Brodhead picked up his 58th career victory at Louisiana-Lafayette, moving into sole possession of second place on the program’s all-time wins list. (Ross Cook, 57).
The 39 points was the lowest total for a conference opponent since Feb. 28, 2015 when the Cajuns (11-3, 4-1 SBC) limited the same Georgia Southern team to 35 points at the Cajundome.
“We started really slow and struggled offensively and also on the defensive side as well to start the game,” Brodhead said. “In the second half we played with a little more urgency. I thought Bre (Breionne Cooper) did a great job on the boards and Kia (Wilridge) ran the floor well and got us going (offensively).”
Louisiana shot 45.3 percent (24-of-53) from the floor and outrebounded the Eagles, 38-28.
Senior Kia Wilridge led all scorers with 17 points, while junior Jaylyn Gordon chipped in 15 points to go with three assists and three steals.
Freshman Breionne Cooper picked up eight points and a career-high 13 rebounds in 31 minutes.
After falling behind, 12-2 at the 4:42 mark of the first quarter, the Cajuns slowly chipped away at the Georgia Southern lead. Three consecutive made free throws and three pointers by senior Keke Veal and Gordon helped close the gap to 14-10 with 1:11 remaining in the opening quarter.
Midway through the second quarter, the Cajuns closed to within two points after back-to-back jumpers by sophomore Jodi Quinn and Cooper. After trading buckets, senior Brooklyn Arceneaux and Veal both deposited a free throw each to give the Cajuns their first lead of the game at 23-22 with 2:34 on the clock.
Gordon provided a three-point lead before the intermission, splashing a jumper with 36 seconds left.
The second quarter saw Louisiana-Lafayette outscore Georgia Southern, 12-0 in the paint.