ALEXANDRIA–Kelsey Thaxton dropped in 20 of her season-high 28 points in the second half, helping lead the LSUA women’s basketball team to an 88-73 victory over the University of the Southwest on Monday evening at The Fort.
Thaxton, a junior from Many, La., scored nine points in 2:19, spanning the third and fourth quarters, put some distance between them and USW. Her deep triple from the left wing as the clock was winding down in the third quarter gave LSUA a four-point lead headed into the final period.
USW cut it to a three-point game at 69-66, but a Thaxton triple as the shot clock was set to expire between two defenders gave LSUA a six-point lead, helping spearhead a 19-7 spurt to finish the game.
LSUA (2-4 overall, 1-1 RRAC) collected its first conference win of the season and scored its most points of the season and most points since putting up 93 in a win against Southwest Feb. 29, 2020.
“We are still building team chemistry and tonight was a big step in the right direction,” LSUA Women’s Basketball Coach Bob Austin said.
The Generals received a lift from sophomore point guard Jay Demouchet, who played in her first game of the season. She began the game with a triple to start LSUA off on the right foot, and scored 10 of her 13 in the first half.
Demouchet dished out seven of her career-high 12 assists in the opening 20 minutes, as she recorded the first double-double of her career. She also collected a game-high six steals.
The teams played a close first half, with neither team extending the advantage by more than seven points. It was a game of runs early on, as USW had an eight-point run to take an 8-3 advantage before LSUA answered with 10-0 run to take a 13-8 lead.
USW (2-4, 1-1) took a 28-21 after Abigail Olivas scored two of her seven points to begin the second quarter, but quickly responded with a 13-0 run, which spanned more than three minutes. Demouchet buried back-to-back triples to turn a tie game to a 34-28 advantage. For the game, the sophomore went 4-of-5 from deep.
The score was close before Thaxton became hot. The junior scored 19 points in the final 12 minutes to turn a close game into a one-sided affair.
Not to be outdone by Demouchet’s double-double freshman Raegan Ojoro and junior Ciera Daniels also recorded double-doubles. Ojoro was a stat sheet stuffer, registering season-highs in points (13), rebounds (10), assists (5) and steals (4). Daniels recorded her first double-double of the season with 16 points and a season-high 12 rebounds.
“We still have a lot of work today, but I really liked seeing 26 assists in 35 made field goals,” Austin said. “Collecting 25 steals on the defensive end was outstanding and those really contributed to us being able to pull away in the fourth quarter.”
After shooting 58.1 percent in the first half, the USW offense was held to just 30.8 percent in the second half, and just 1-of-12 from downtown.
Isabel Rodriguez cleaned up on the glass for the Mustangs with 23 rebounds, the most accumulated in the conference this season. USW had balanced scoring with three players with 12 points and two more with nine.
LSUA forced 31 turnovers, converting them into 37 points.
The Generals are back it on Thursday for their second matchup in three games against LSU-Shreveport. The contest begins at 5 p.m.