LAFAYETTE — Within their Sun Belt split on the road, Louisiana-Lafayette women’s basketball coach Garry Brodhead brought some inside information back home.
After the Cajuns came away with a win over Arkansas-Little Rock and a loss to Arkansas State, Brodhead saw a necessity for his squad.
Sophomore post player Simone Fields had 22 points in the two games and she made 10 of 17 from the field. Getting that production and efficiency from Fields and the rest of the Cajuns’ interior lineup moving forward was a focal point of practice.
“You just keep on working and you give them touches,” Brodhead said. “You can’t score unless you get the ball. That is something we worked on as a coaching staff to get Simone and Brooklyn (Arceneaux) more touches.
“For them to score and be consistent, they have to have opportunity. Instead of dribble-drive and kick out, it’s a process we are working on. Maybe the first couple of years here, we didn’t have that presence. Now we have the presence and we have to figure out how to get some touches.”
Fields scored the Cajuns’ first nine points against Arkansas State as part of her 7 of 12 shooting effort that translated to 15 points in 25 minutes.
“We thought Simone played extremely well in both games,” Brodhead said. “She may not have scored as much in the first game against Little Rock, but she had the first nine points against Arkansas State and we were getting the ball inside. Arkansas State is not very big. They play like us. They play 5-10 and 6-footers. She took advantage of it and made shots. I thought she got in there and banged. It was a battle. She is playing a lot better and a lot more confident. It’s exciting for us. We are going to need that.”
Between rounds scorecard
Brodhead saw the Arkansas State defeat as one lost round in a series of tests that will continue with an upcoming Thursday-Saturday swing through Georgia to face Georgia Southern and Georgia State. “We just kind of move on,” Brodhead said. “That has always been a great thing about a southern Louisiana girl. They are fighters. This is Round 1 and let’s go to Round 2. We have never had a team that quits. That is what’s fun. We went back into practice today and went back to work. I didn’t see a difference. I think they are more confident today than they were yesterday.”
Searching for matchup
As guard Sylvana Okde has periodically seen time on the court, her recovery from knee surgeries has created more challenges defensively than offensively for the junior sharpshooter nicknamed “Silk” who ranks fifth in school history in 3-pointers made with 148. Facing a team who likes to toe the 3-point line could be a favorable matchup. “Her defense is coming along, but she is still not moving at 100 percent like we would like,” Brodhead said. “I think it’s going to be about matchups. Georgia Southern might be a good matchup. We don’t play zone. We play a lot of man-to-man (defense). It puts her in a situation where if we are playing a really athletic team, it’s difficult to run her out right now. If Georgia Southern shoots threes, she might fit into that matchup.”