The Cajuns enter the Sun Belt Tournament as the No. 11 seed. It is the highest-seeding for the Cajuns in head coach Errol Rogers' three-year tenure.

University of Louisiana Women's BasketballTOURNAMENT CENTRAL

GAME CENTER
Date: Saturday, March 6, 2010
Location: Hot Springs, Ark.
Opponent: No. 6-seed South Alabama (14-15, 9-9 Sun Belt)
Site: Summit Center
Game Time: 12:00 p.m. (CST)
Radio: None
Live Stats:
www.RaginCajuns.com

Game Day Story Lines

  • The Cajuns enter the Sun Belt Tournament as the No. 11 seed. It is the highest-seeding for the Cajuns in head coach Errol Rogers' three-year tenure.
  • UL will face South Alabama in the first round of the tournament. The Cajuns lost to the Jaguars earlier this season in Mobile, 59-79 and trail in the all-series, 10-27.
  • Mercedes Johnson has scored in double figures in eight of the last 10 contests, including three 20-point plus scoring efforts.
  • Alexis Green has scored double digits in the past 12 games, reaching the 20-point plateau on four occassions.
  • The Cajuns are averging 61.7 points per contest while shooting .375 from the floor. In conference games, UL averages 59.7 ppg.
  • South Alabama is shooting .376 on the year and averages 63.9 points per game. In Sun Belt play, the Jaguars are averaging 65.2 ppg.

Mercedes - Unlike Any Other 

In 29 games played, Mercedes Johnson has reached double-digit scoring 21 times, including five 20-point performances and four double-doubles.

Against Lamar in the World Vision Classic, Johnson had a career night, scoring 22 points with 14 rebounds on 8-for-14 shooting.

At WKU, Johnson tied her career point performance with 22 points and set a new best of 16 rebounds.

Most recently against FAU, Johnson became the first Cajun since the 1989-90 season to score atleast 39 points.

She also tied her career-high of 16 rebounds in the game.

 

Going Green 

Alexis Green scored a season-high 26 points against Denver.

It was the sixth time she has scored more than 20 points this season. This season she has reached double figures 18 times, notching three double-doubles.

In conference play, Green is averaging 15.9 ppg. 

Luxury Duo

Mercedes Johnson and Alexis Green rank among the top of the Sun Belt averging 14.6 and 14.1 ppg, respectively, in all games played.

Johnson is ranked 5th in the league while Green is 10th.

In league games, Green is ranked fourth (16.1) and Johnson sits in fifth place (15.7) 

Second Half Team

The Cajuns have proven that they are a different team in the second half.

Their field goal percentage improves in the second frame from .363 to .395.

From beyond the arc, UL is shooting .271 compared to .219 in the first frame.

 Barn Burner

Junior Jasmine Barnes has continued to improve during the 2009-10 season.

Against FIU, Barnes was 8-for-8 with a game-high 16 points for the Cajuns.

Against Houston Baptist, the junior guard recorded her first career double-double, scoring 20 points with 11 rebounds.

Barnes has contributed double-digit performance in seven of the Cajuns' nine wins.

 For Whom the Bell Tolls

Lyndra Bell had a career night in the win over North Texas.

The junior forward scored 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including a 4-for-4 performance from the charity stripe.

It was the second time this season Bell has set a new career high in a game. 

Win = Points

In seven of the Cajuns' nine wins, atleast three players players have reached double figures.

In the win over McNeese, Mercedes Johnson (20), Amy Richard (12) and Jasmine Barnes (11) posted double-digits.

Against Houston Baptist, Barnes (20), Johnson (11), Nicole Morris (11) and Alexis Green (23) reached double figures.

Against Centenary, Barnes, Johnson, Josie West and Green all had 11 points.

In the league win over the Mean Green, Lyndra Bell and Barnes chipped in 18 points, Morris had 12 and Mercedes Johnson had 15 points.

In the victory of UNO, Barnes led the way with 14, while Green and Johnson had 12 and 11, respectively.

All three hit double figures in the win over ULM with Green scoring a game-high 18. 

Player of the Week Honors

After averaging 25.0 ppg and 11.0 rpg last week, Mercedes Johnson earned her first career player of the week honor.

After her 39-point performance against FAU, she put up double-digits again at South Alabama (11). 

Last Time Out... at Denver (Feb. 27 )

The Denver Pioneers captured a 76-63 decision over Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns on Saturday afternoon at Magness Arena. Despite having already secured the No. 4 seed in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament and dressing only seven players due to injuries, DU 17-12 (12-6) showed how big home court advantage is in the Rockies.

The elevation of the court at Magness Arena is 5,342.80 feet above sea level. A sign is conveniently displayed just before the visiting team enters the court outside their locker room.

Carrying a big lead into the second half, DU was able to keep UL 9-21 (4-14) at bay.

The closest the Cajuns could get in the second stanza was 12 points, 63-51, despite committing only one turnover in the first 14 minutes of the second half. The Cajuns were shooting 52 percent in the second half at that point, but allowed DU to convert at 55 percent.

DU finished the game shooting 56 percent from the floor. UL totaled 37 percent shooting.

Mercedes Johnson led the Cajuns with 23 points and seven rebounds. Jamie Gunter scored 12 points and Alexis Green added 11 points.

DU was led by Kaetlyn Murdoch's 24 points. Three other players finished in double figures for the Pioneers.

With the loss, the Cajuns will be the No. 10 seed in the SBC Tournament if both Troy and New Orleans lose - regardless of the outcome of the North Texas at ULM game (at 4-14, Cajuns win any head-to-head, 3-team or 4-team tie-breaker with UNO, Troy and ULM). UL is the No. 11 seed if either Troy or New Orleans win and the No. 12 seed if both Troy and New Orleans win.

The Cajuns will face South Alabama, Florida International or Florida Atlantic in the first round of the conference tournament. If the Cajuns finish as the No. 10 seed, UL will face the No. 7 seed (USA if FIU wins Saturday or FIU if FIU loses on Saturday. If the Cajuns are the No. 11 seed, UL will face the No. 6 seed (FAU if FIU wins or USA if FIU loses). If the Cajuns are the No. 12 seed, UL will face the No. 5 seed (FIU if they win or FAU if FIU loses).

The Pioneers outran the Cajuns in the first half en route to a 44-26 lead after 20 minutes. Denver was 18-of-29 (62 percent) from the floor in the first half, including 5-of-7 (71 percent) from behind the arc.

The Cajuns had only two turnovers, but hit on only 12-of-39 shots (31 percent) to fall behind by 18 points at the break.

Tied at 8-8, DU used a 17-4 run to build a 13-point led with seven minutes remaining in the first half.

After a short 8-4 burst by the Cajuns cut the DU lead under double figures, the Pioneers outscored UL 15-6 over the final 4:30 of the first half.


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