UL Women’s Basketball Celebates Great Season At Annual Banquet
Louisiana Ragin’ Cajun women’s basketball team held its annual team banquet on Thursday night at the Petroleum Club in Lafayette, to celebrate one of their best seasons in nearly a decade, both on and off the hardwood.
On the court, Louisiana went 14-16, overall, and 7-11 in Sun Belt Conference play. It was the most overall wins they captured since 2006, and the most conference wins for the program since the same year.
The Cajuns defeated Arkansas St., the regular season Sun Belt Conference champions, 77-76, back on February 15 at the Cajundome, one of only four losses for the Red Wolves this season, and they led WKU, the postseason Sun Belt Conference Tournament champions, for over 38:00 minutes, before bowing out of the tournament.
Louisiana did all this despite being banged-up for basically the entire season, playing the first eight games without the services of starting point guard Kia Wilridge, while playing the final 17 games without starting guard Keke Veal.
Wilridge and Veal, two of the top four scorers for the team, wound-up playing only five games together in the 2013-2014 season.
To make things look even better, every member of the team will be returning for the 2014-2015 season, as Louisiana didn’t have one senior, and only one junior on their roster at the end of this past season.
Off the court, the Cajuns were extremely successful in the classroom, as well as the community.
The team earned the highest semester GPA in the history of women’s basketball in the spring of 2012 (3.19), while five members of the squad had a GPA of a 3.0, or better, in the fall of 2013.
Sylvana Okde, Robbie Brown and Brooklyn Arceneaux all won Sun Belt Conference Academic Achievement Awards, while Kia Wilridge was named to the Commissioners List, which is the highest academic achievement award in the league.
The Cajuns won the CHAMPS Cup, compiling over 350 hours of community service, while making their mark in the community. The team hosted the Dreams Come True Christmas party for 50 terminally ill children and their families, gave away random acts of kindness at Wal-Mart during the Christmas season, presented a trip to Disneyworld on behalf of Dreams Come True to Emma Guidry who is a 6-year-old cancer survivor before a home game against Alcorn St., and partnered with Susan G. Komen foundation for cancer awareness.
This year, the program named it’s Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year after former UL women’s basketball legend, the late, great Kim Perrot, who lost her valiant fight against cancer in 1999.
Sophomore Sylvana Okde won the Offensive Player of the Year, leading the team in points scored, with 326, three-pointers made, with 74, and scoring, at 10.9 points-per-game, for players that played in at least 15 games.
Sophomore Kia Wilridge was honored with the Defensive Players of the Year, as well as the “Heart of a Champion” Award, named after for UL women’s head coach J. Kelly Hall, who passed away in 2011, just five years after guiding the Cajuns to an at-large NCAA Tournament berth in 2006, the first in school history.
Sophomore Adrienne Prejean was given the Community Involvement Award, while Okde, Brown, Arceneaux, and Wilridge were all honored for their academic exploits.