LAFAYETTE, La. – After committing 28 turnovers, UCSB (1-10) fell at Louisiana-Lafayette (7-1), as the Ragin'Cajuns successfully defended their home floor and took the 61-42 decision in the Cajun Dome on Tuesday morning.
With a pair of second half three-pointers, Coco Miller finished the game as UCSB's leading scorer with eight points, while she also paced the tea with five steals. Chaya Durr and Kali Jones added seven points apiece to follow Miller. Durr led the Gauchos in the rebound category with five boards. As a team, the Gauchos shot the ball at an efficient 47.1 percent.
The Ragin' Cajuns used a fast start and a strong finish to capture the home win, as they outscored UCSB 20-10 in the first quarter and 19-12 in the fourth.
The Gauchos played Lafayette close in the middle quarters and were only outscored a combined 22-20 in the second and third periods.
Lafayette maintained a double-digit lead well into the second quarter, but UCSB was able to come within nine points following a 5-0 run. Jasmine Ware got the stretch started with a steal and finishing on her own for the lay up. Onome Jemerigbe went 1-2 at the foul line during the next Gaucho possession, and Ware closed out the run with another steal-and-score, this time knocking down a pullup jumper from the foul line at the 1:48 mark.
The Cajuns, though, were able to move their lead up to 11 points, as Simone Fields made a pair of free throws, giving her team the 30-19 edge at halftime.
The Gauchos largest run of the day came in the third quarter when they scored nine unanswered points to put themselves within eight points. Lafayatte went off to a strong start in the third in scoring on each of their firs three possessions. However, UCSB was able to answer back with Jemerigbe and Durr battling their way to the charity stripe. Those trips to the line gave the Gauchos two points, triggering their 9-0 run that featured five points from Miller, including her first triple of the game.
Miller's three at the 2:41 mark capped off the run and made the score 36-28, but Keke Veal provided the Cajuns' response with three straight midrange jumpers to close out the quarter. Veal scored half of her total points on that solo run, as she pushed her team ahead by 12 points entering the final quarter.
Lafayette used a 14-5 run through the opening five minutes of the fourth quarter to take a daunting 56-35 lead, which helped them clinch the game.
Along with the Cajuns turning 28 Gaucho turnovers into 23 points, UCSB was unable to cash in on their opportunities at the free throw line, as the team shot a collective 7-19.
UCSB will close out their current three-game road swing with a visit to Santa Clara on Friday starting at 6 p.m. The team will return to the Thunderdome on Sunday to play La Verne with a 2 p.m. tip-off time.