Suddenly, UL women’s basketball coach Garry Brodhead’s Ragin’ Cajuns have lost three games in a row to slip back into a tie for sixth place in the Sun Belt standings with Arkansas State.
But Brodhead isn’t panicking for several reasons heading into Thursday’s 6 p.m. game against Georgia State at the Cajundome.
For one, the Cajuns (13-9, 6-5) are still just one game out of fourth place, which would earn UL a home game in the first round of the conference tournament.
Secondly, his Cajuns actually played better in their last loss — falling just a 3-pointer short of a potential sweep of first-place Troy.
“I thought we gave Troy a pretty good game Saturday and actually didn’t shoot it from the three that well,” Brodhead said. “Our turnovers were down and I think we controlled the tempo of the game. I thought we played well, but we didn’t finish.”
UL’s defense made stops down the stretch, but had trouble keeping Troy off the boards.
The other good sign was the energy he saw from his team Friday and Saturday in preparation for Troy, despite two straight losses prior to that game.
“So I think we’re in a pretty good situation where we know that we have to win,” Brodhead said. “It’s kind of almost how we are for eight years.
“Our backs are kind of against the wall and we need to win some games. This is going to be a big week for us. I really feel they’re going to show up. I think they’re in a good place.”
UL defeated Georgia State 75-65 on the road on Jan. 2, before falling 83-67 in Statesboro two days later.
“Georgia State wants to pound it inside,” Brodhead said. “They’re very athletic. They don’t really shoot the 3-pointer as much as Georgia Southern. Georgia Southern is more guard oriented. Their post play isn’t as dominant as Georgia State.”
That contrast is a concern for Brodhead.
“I kind of wish we were playing the opposite,” he said. “I’d rather play the shooters first and the inside game after. But we slowed down their inside game, and then we go to Georgia Southern and didn’t slow down their outside game.
“They made 14 threes. It was a tough game. The way they score, offensive transition is very difficult to guard.”
On the flip side, UL’s 3-point shooting must improve quickly. In the three-game losing streak, the Cajuns have shot a combined 10-for-51 beyond the arc for 19.6 percent.