ARLINGTON, Texas — The offensive trio of sophomore Simone Fields (19) and seniors Keke Veal (17) and Kia Wilridge (11) combined for 47 of the team’s 59 points in a 59-42 victory at UT-Arlington on Thursday.
The win snapped a three-game losing skid for the Cajuns, who improved to 17-7 and 10-5 in Sun Belt Conference play.
After trailing, 14-11 to the Lady Mavericks after the first quarter, the Cajuns outscored UT-Arlington, 48-28 in the final 30 minutes.
Louisiana’s defense came up with 11 steals and forced 22 turnovers. The Cajuns were able to turn those 22 turnovers into 25 points.
“We brought the intensity on the defensive side,” Ragin’ Cajuns coach Garry Brodhead said. “I thought the defensive pressure (that we applied) when they went with their big lineup hurt them. We were able to get 25 points off of turnovers and we had a great defensive effort to be able to hold them to 42 points.”
In the first quarter, Louisiana built a 7-4 lead with 5:30 remaining, but a 7-0 run by the Lady Mavericks gave UT-Arlington a four-point lead. The Cajuns fell into a five-point hole just 22 seconds into the second quarter following a jumper by Breck Clark. However, six straight points (four from Veal, two from Fields) put the Cajuns back on top, 17-16 with 6:34 to play. Louisiana tacked onto its lead with four more points from Veal (free throws) and sophomore Jodi Quinn (layup).
For the remainder of the half, the Cajuns maintained a two-possession lead. Veal’s layup with 44 seconds left increased Louisiana’s lead to 29-22 going into halftime.
For the entire second half the Cajuns did not trail or relinquish their lead to the Lady Mavericks.
Veal missed a double-double by a rebound, finishing with 17 points and nine boards.
She also added a team-high four steals. Wilridge and Quinn both dished out three assists each, tied for the team lead.
The Cajuns wrap up their Texas road trip with a visit to Texas State in San Marcos at 2 p.m. Saturday.