TROY, Ala. — Keke Veal scored 17 of her team-high 20 points in the second half, but a second-half comeback for the Louisiana-Lafayette women’s basketball team fell short in a 68-63 Sun Belt Conference loss at Troy on Saturday at Trojan Arena.
Kia Wilridge added 18 points and Jaylyn Gordon 11 for the Cajuns (16-8, 8-7 Sun Belt), who nearly erased a 19-point deficit in the second half after going 6-for-32 (18.8 percent) from the floor in the opening half.
Louisiana-Lafayette trailed 42-23 with 16:35 remaining in the game after a jumper by Ronita Garrett before gradually chipping away at the lead. The Ragin’ Cajuns trailed 63-52 with 1:11 left after a bucket by Kourtney Coleman before Wilridge began a furious rally with a three-point play.
Veal added a 3-pointer that narrowed the lead to 63-58, and 64-60 after a bucket by Robbie Brown before the Trojans made four free throws down the stretch to claim the win.
Garrett and Caitlyn Ramirez scored on buckets early for Troy (15-9, 10-5 Sun Belt) before a 3-pointer by Gordon trimmed the lead to 4-3 at the 18:13 mark. Gordon added another bucket that cut the lead to 6-5, but Troy used an 8-0 run that was capped by a Lauren Day basket for a 14-5 lead with 14:49 remaining.
A 3-pointer by Ashley Beverly-Kelley gave the Trojans a 20-9 lead at the 10:52 mark and Troy extended its lead to 34-21 at halftime after a jumper by Day.
Simone Fields added nine points and a team-high eight rebounds for the Cajuns while Brown finished with five points.
The Ragin’ Cajuns finished 21-for-70 (30.0 percent) from the floor, 10-for-27 (37.0 percent) from behind the 3-point line and 11-for-15 from the charity stripe. Louisiana-Lafayette forced 22 turnovers with Wilridge posting a game-high three steals.
Garrett scored 14 points and pulled down 19 rebounds to lead Troy, which held a 50-41 rebounding advantage. Ramirez added 11 points for the Trojans, who finished 24-for-56 (42.9 percent) from the floor.