LAFAYETTE — The Southern University women’s basketball team rolled to a big first-half lead in Saturday’s game with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Maintaining that lead was something else, however.
Southern (1-3) got off to leads of 16-8 and 25-15, the latter on a layup by Kendra Coleman with 4:46 to play in the opening half.
But ULL (3-4) closed the first half with a 13-3 run that trimmed their deficit to 28-26 going to the locker room.
The Lady Jaguars and Ragin’ Cajuns played on even terms in the early part of the second half until ULL finally broke the game open.
Southern’s biggest lead of the second half was four points (32-28) on a layup by Lechell Rush with 17:53 to play in the game.
On the other hand, ULL managed a two-point cushion twice — the second time on a Krystal Motley jumper — in the first 5? minutes of the second half.
There were also five ties in the first 5:34 of the second half.
But after Southern tied the game for the final time on a layup by Jasmine Jefferson with 14:16 to play, ULL took over.
A layup by Olivia Nino gave the Cajuns the lead for good at 38-36, although the Lady Jaguars refused to go away.
Three times they cut the deficit to one point — the last time at the 7:42 mark of the second half when Adrian Sanders dropped in a pair of free throws.
But shortly thereafter, Southern hit a dry spell when the Lady Jaguars missed four field goals and had five turnovers over the next 6:43.
By the time Sanders ended the drought with a jumper with 59 seconds remaining, ULL had built a 13-point lead at 60-47.
The Cajuns finished the game on a 14-4 run after the Lady Jaguars cut it to one point with 7:42 to play.
The Cajuns were led by Motley’s 19 points. Kemi Rotibi hit on seven of 11 field-goal attempts and finished with 16 points to go with a game-high nine rebounds.
The Cajuns got off to a slow start, hitting only one field goal in the first 13-plus minutes before Megan Whittaker’s 3-point shot trimmed Southern’s early lead to 16-11.
ULL closed the first half on an 11-3 run and went into the locker rooms trailing just 28-26 despite shooting just 24.0 percent (6-of-25 percent) from the floor.
Motley had seven points and the Cajuns forced Southern into 14 turnovers in the first half. Coleman had eight points to lead SU.
Southern, which was 16-of-42 from the field for 38.1 percent, got 12 points from Sanders and 11 from Jefferson.