New Orleans, La. – The University of New Orleans women’s basketball team rallied from a 13-point, second half deficit against Stephen F. Austin, however the rally fell short as the Privateers fell to the Ladyjacks, 71-67, Thursday at Lakefront Arena.
The defeat dropped UNO to 13-12 overall and 8-7 in Southland Conference (SLC) play. Stephen F. Austin is 21-5 and 12-3 in conference competition.
“When you are playing a team as good as Stephen F. Austin you can’t miss crucial free throws and you can’t miss little chip shots near the basket,” said head coach Keeshawn Davenport. “But give them credit, they showed you why they are a good team.”
New Orleans grabbed their largest lead of the game in the early going, a seven-point 12-5 advantage less than 3 minutes into the ball game. However, Stephen F. Austin led at the end of one period by two, 25-23.
It was tied once in the second quarter at 25-25 on a Halie Matthews (Biological Sciences) basket. SFA led through the remainder of the period and the largest lead came with 56 seconds to go in the half when a Taylor Jackson layup made it 42-36, SFA and the half.
The Ladyjacks grabbed control of period number three early thanks to two baskets by Taylor Ross, who finished with a game-high 30 points. The lead would reach 13 on two occasions, 52-39 at the 6:52 mark and 56-43 with 1:19 to go in the third.
New Orleans scored only 8 points in the third period.
“We missed the first two defensive assignments on Ross and that can’t happen because that gave them a spark and a six-point lead went to double digits,” said Davenport.
The Privateers stormed back in the final quarter. A 14-4 run keyed by seven points from Randi Brown (Human Performance) and buckets by Shania Woods (Accounting), Jewel Angelo (Interdisciplinary Studies) and Raven Coleman (Interdisciplinary Studies)) did the trick. When Brown knocked down a long 3-pointer the lead was down to 2, 60-58, Stephen F. Austin with 5:02 to go.
Another jumper by Brown cut the lead to one at 65-64 with 1:59 to go. UNO had a chance to take the lead with :28 seconds remaining, however Brown could not hold on to an inbounds pass, turning the ball over to SFA. Free throws by Taylor Ross and Stevi Parker ballooned the lead to 5 at 69-64, However Randi Brown hit another long three-pointer, cutting the lead to 2 at 69-67. Ross calmly canned two free throws for the margin of victory and SFA escaped with the win.
Randi Brown led New Orleans in scoring with 24 points. Center Shania Woods was next with 11 and 6 rebounds. Starting point guard Mariah Wright (Computer Science) kept the Privateers in it early finishing with 9 points, all coming in the first half. Junior Halie Matthews returned from a concussion with 9 points and 8 rebounds before fouling out of the contest. Jewel Angelo chipped in with 7 off the bench and led UNO in assists with 3.
Taylor Ross was the only player in double figures for SFA, however the bench contributed 24 points.
“I’m proud of the way our ladies fought and I would love to see Stephen F. Austin for a third time in Katy because our ladies understand that we let another one slip away. We didn’t lose, we just ran out of time,” said Davenport.
New Orleans will return to action Saturday, Feb. 25 in Natchitoches, Louisiana where they’ll face Northwestern State at 1 p. m. Their next home game is Thursday, Mar. 2 when Southeastern Louisiana comes to town for a 5;30 p. m. contest. It will be Senior Day.
For tickets to all Privateer Athletics events, contact the UNO Athletics Ticket Office at (504) 280-GAME (4263) or via the Internet by clicking HERE.