Brown scores 41 as New Orleans clinches tournament bye
It was a festive evening at Lakefront Arena Thursday as the final home game for three seniors, the conference’s leading scorer, Randi Brown, made individual history and the University of New Orleans women’s basketball team made history by not just reaching the Southland Conference Tournament for the first time but earning the No. 4 seed and a first-round bye later this month in Katy, Texas.
The memorable night was made possible by a 102-87 drubbing of Southeastern Louisiana University (5-24 overall, 3-15 in the Southland Conference) and avenging a 15-point defeat to the Lady Lions in Hammond Feb. 11.
“We didn’t do a good job of guarding the three-point shot, but we found a way to win and at this point of the season, that’s what makes the biggest difference,” New Orleans Head Coach Keeshawn Davenport said in a news release.
Junior guard Randi Brown, a Central Catholic alum, scored 41 points. She becomes the second player in New Orleans Privateers’ history to exceed 40 points more than once, joining All American Sandra Hodge, who exceeded the 40-point mark three times.
Brown, of Houma, had a full stat sheet, grabbing six rebounds, dishing eight assists and recording four steals.
“She finished with 41, but she could have had 50,” Davenport said. “I think she’s sending a very loud message of how she’s going to do her senior season. I’m very proud of her.”
It was the final home game for seniors Ariele Davis, Raven Coleman and Jewel Angelo. Coleman had eight points and six rebounds while Angelo contributed 11 points and three assists.
“We’ve just trusted the process and believed everything that coach has told us,” Angelo said in a news release. “We’ve faced a lot of adversity since (our) freshman year, but we’ve pushed through to try to become a winning program by giving all we’ve got every single day.”
New Orleans (14-13, 9-8) had the advantage for all but 2 minutes and 26 seconds of the game. It led after one period, 23-14. The lead reached 21 points in the second quarter at the 4:32 mark when Brown canned a 3-pointer—-one of five on the night—-to make it 43-22.
However, the Lady Lions sliced into the lead with a 15-4 run before halftime and trailed 47-37 at halftime.
The Privateers ans w e r e d e v e r y Southeastern run in the third quarter. The margin reached 19 at the end of the period thanks to a 15-point stanza by Brown.
Sophomore center Shania Woods had 8 of her 18 points in the 3rd quarter.
Woods was the game’s leading rebounder with 13 for her fourth double-double this season.
Junior Kayla Mundy had 14 points off the bench on 6-of-9 shooting in 19 minutes.
New Orleans was 35-of-67 from the field for 52.2 percent. It forced 26 turnovers and scored 27 points off Southeastern miscues.
The Privateers finish with a regular season home record of 10-4, the first time the program has reached double-figure wins at home since the 2002-2003 season.
Taylin Underwood led the Lady Lions with 36 points, six rebounds and eight assists.
The Privateers will close the regular season Saturday in Thibodaux against Nicholls State. Tipoff is slated for 1 p.m. New Orleans will head to Katy, Texas, for the Southland Conference Tournament March 10-13. For tickets to Privateer athletics events, contact the UNO Athletics Ticket Office at 504-280-GAME (4263).