The Cajuns’ season opened with an 8–2 start, aided by impressive stats on both sides of the ball. Paramount to the team’s early confidence was an amazing four-game winning streak in late November that proved the Cajuns were among the best heading into conference play. An early string of cancellations in January wouldn’t throw the team off its pace as it built up to 17–6, the third-best record in the Sun Belt Conference, due to another stellar four-game winning streak, its best effort yet, to close out the regular season.
Cajuns absolutely refused to score under 50 points more than once in any of their conference matchups, almost always giving themselves a shot to win with offense. All season, the Cajuns had maintained exceptional efficiency, ranking inside the top 15 nationally for field goal percentage. In the aforementioned stretch, the team put up an average 45% against some of its toughest competition all season, proving the stats weren’t just for show.
Defense also contributed in this stretch, helping the Cajuns rank top 25 in opposing field goal percentage and combining with offense for a top 10 differential. This came up huge in the last four games of the season: the Cajuns’ last four opponents were held to an average of 32.4% on field goals and 25% from three-point range.
All of this earned the Cajuns a first-round bye going into the SBC Women’s Tournament in Pensacola, Florida, which they started with a bang on March 4, running the Texas State Bobcats off the court, 71–46. Great defensive energy early held the opposition to five points in the first quarter, and the Cajuns found their offensive rhythm in the second half to put the game out of reach for good. The back court carried the scoring as freshman Lanay Wheaton and sophomore Makayia Hallmon combined for 37 points on 62% shooting.
Next would come the University of Texas at Arlington Mavericks. Scoring would remain dead even throughout the first half, but the Mavericks’ superior ball movement would open up for them in the fourth quarter, letting them pull away and win 75–65. The Cajuns’ passing lanes were thoroughly shut down, as they would lose the assist battle 4–22. Wheaton would again lead the Cajuns in scoring with 24 points on 63% effective field goal, and Mavericks forward Starr Jacobs would record an impressive 28 points and 10 rebounds.
Again, every player on the roster deserves credit for this season, but when push came to shove in the tournament, the coaching staff called Wheaton, Hallmon, Tamera Johnson, and Destiny Rice’s numbers. All of these players will hopefully be back and ready to go for another run next season. Honorable mention goes to junior Brandi Williams, who led the team this season in points and steals per game on the team’s best shooting efficiency.
Our lone graduating player this season will be former SBC All-Conference Team member and Defensive Player of the Year, Ty’Reona Doucet. For four seasons, the Cajuns could count on Doucet consistently for 12 points on over 50% from the field, eight boards, and almost two blocks a game. Defensively, she anchored the team and was always due for a big game when a conference rival came to town. Her skill and energy will definitely be missed.