The Louisiana women's basketball team rang in the New Year in fine fashion with a 65-54 win over North Texas on New Year's Day at the Super Pit in Denton, Texas. The Cajuns used big runs at the start of the first and second halves en route to the win.

Saturday afternoon's win for the Ragin' Cajuns (8-7, 1-1 Sun Belt) tied the 2007-08 campaign for the second-most victories in a season during head coach Errol Roger's tenure. The Mean Green fell to 0-2 in league play, dropping to 3-12 overall.

The victory was also the first win for Louisiana at the Super Pit since an 85-76 defeat of UNT on Jan. 11, 2007, snapping a three-game losing streak in Denton.

Louisiana led by as many as 22 in the first half. UNT pulled within single digits in the final six minutes of the game, but Louisiana withheld the rally to snap a two-game losing skid.

Jasmine Barnes, a native of Baton Rouge, led the Cajuns with 17 points, shooting 64 percent (7-of-11) from the floor.

Junior Mercedes Johnson added 10 points and pulled down a game-high six boards. The Houston native is just nine points shy of becoming the 14th UL player to reach 1,000 points in a career.

The Ragin' Cajuns drained five triples in the contest, three of which came from junior Danyell Oliver. Oliver finished with nine points, three rebound and two steals.

Meanwhile, Lyndra Bell tallied nine points and corralled in a rebound to help the Cajuns. Point guard Nicole Morris dished out six assists, inking four points and four rebounds.

UL started hot and jumped out to an early 11-3 lead by the 15:31 mark. The Cajuns knocked down five of their first nine shots while limiting the Mean Green to just one successful basket in seven attempts.

Another 11-3 run set the Cajuns up with a 22-5 advantage with 10:28 remaining. UL's defense remained stout, forcing North Texas into bad shot after bad shot resulting in a paltry 2-of-18 effort (11.1 percent).

A three-pointer from D'Mya Clay at the 8:45 mark put the Cajuns up by 20, 27-7.

But the Mean Green was able to rattle of a 10-2 run of their own over the next five minutes to chip away at the Cajuns' lead.

For the remainder of the half, UL was able to hold off North Texas to maintain a double-digit lead, 33-23, at the half.

At 15-4 run to start the second half quickly reestablished a 20-point margin for the Cajuns. During the run, Johnson scored six points to give UL a 48-27 lead at the 15:16 mark.

The Mean Green finally cracked the double-digit lead with 5:42 remaining, but still trailed, 55-46.

North Texas continued to push, hitting a three to draw within six, 59-53, with 2:20 remaining. It was the closest the Mean Green came to UL's lead since the score was 9-3 at the start of the game. But UNT was unable to get any closer.

The Cajuns shot 37.7 percent on the evening (26-69) while limiting North Texas to 20-of-65 (30.8 percent).

Next up for the Cajuns will be the first Sun Belt home contest of the season against Troy on Jan. 5. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. CT at E.K. Long Gym.

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