BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Kia Wilridge scored a career-high 21 points while Brooklyn Arceneaux added 16, but WKU used a 20-2 run in the first half and defeated the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns 80-7, in a Sun Belt Conference game Wednesday at E.A. Diddle Arena.
Chastity Gooch posted a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds as WKU (20-8, 12-5 SBC) earned its sixth straight win. Kendall Noble added 17 points for the Hilltoppers while Bianca McGee had 14 and Micah Jones 10.
Louisiana (14-14, 7-10 SBC), which had its four-game win streak snapped, fell behind by as many as 18 points, but battled back against a WKU team that was defeating its opponents by an average of over 27 points during its current streak.
The Cajuns opened the game with buckets by Wilridge and Arceneaux before a layup by Gabby Alexander gave Louisiana-Lafayette a 6-4 lead with 17:44 remaining in the first half.
But WKU would score the next 10 points to take a 14-6 lead and never trail again. A 3-pointer by Noble with 17:20 left in the first half gave the Toppers a 7-6 lead before Chaney Means scored on a jumper, Jalynn McClain scored on a three-point play and Gooch scored on a jumper in the lane.
A layup by Bria Gaines with 10:16 left in the first half gave WKU a 24-6 lead before Louisiana would battle back. The Cajuns scored six straight points in an 11-4 run as Arceneaux, Braile Fields and Wilridge all sank jumpers. Jaylyn Gordon converted on a three-point play for the Cajuns before Wilridge added a 3-pointer to cut the WKU lead to 28-22, but a three-point play by Noble and a 3-pointer by McGee pushed the lead to 34-22 with 3:24 remaining in the half.
The Cajuns trailed 54-36 after a pair of free throws by Gaines with 12:03 remaining and got as close as 75-67 when Gordon scored on a three-point play with 35 seconds remaining. But McGee, Jones and Noble would combine for five free throws down the stretch to add insurance for WKU, which finished 33-for-42 from the free throw line.
Louisiana finished 28-for-61 (45.9 percent) from the floor, 5-for-19 from the 3-point line and 10-for-10 from the free throw line, but were whistled for 30 fouls. Gordon added 11 points off the bench for the Cajuns while Sylvana Okde scored all 10 of her points in the second half.
WKU finished 22-for-50 (44.0 percent) from the floor and held a 36-27 advantage on the glass. Gooch finished 6-for-15 from the floor for the Hilltoppers while Noble was 4-for-7 from the floor and 8-for-10 from the free throw line.
Louisiana will close out the regular-season on Saturday when it visits Arkansas State in a 3:05 p.m. tipoff at the Convocation Center.