Mercedes Johnson led the Louisiana women's basketball team with a gym-record 36 points to become the 14th player in UL history to reach 1,000 points as UL knocked off the Troy Trojans, 73-63, on Wednesday evening at Earl K. Long Gym.

Louisiana (9-7, 2-1 Sun Belt) built up an eight point lead at the half and never looked back as UL tied the most wins in a season under head coach Errol Rogers. Troy (4-12, 1-2 Sun Belt) turned the ball over 18 times, while Louisiana only committed 13 turnovers.

Junior Kemi Rotibi added to the action by recording a double-double for the first time at Louisiana, scoring 16 points and reeling in 11 rebounds. Rotibi, a native of Chicago, was 7-of-15 from the field. She picked up nine of her 11 rebounds on the defensive side of the glass.

Rotibi set a career-high in rebounds, while narrowly missing her season-best in points by one.

Johnson made 13-of-23 shots from the floor for 57 percent. She shot 83 percent (10-of-12) at the charity stripe. The junior pulled in seven boards and two assists en route to the best scoring performance ever at Earl K. Long Gym. Her 36 points surpassed Lisa Merritt's mark of 33 set against Nicholls State on Jan. 25, 1982.

With her performance on Wednesday, Johnson became the 14th player in Louisiana history to reach 1,000 points. She is the first Cajun to reach 1,000 since Onna Charles and Sonora Edwards in the 2007-08 campaign. The junior now has 1,027 points in her career.

UL shot 41 percent for the game (27-of-66), holding the Trojans to 40 percent (22-of-55). The Cajuns edged Troy in the rebounds column, 43-to-38.

The Ragin' Cajuns closed out the first half on a six-point run as UL led 38-30 at the break. The Cajuns banked 39 percent (13x33) of their shots in the first half compared to 36 percent from Troy (12x33).

Johnson notched 19 points, a season-best, at the half. Johnson has scored double-digits at the half in five games this season.

Louisiana opened to a 15-12 lead within the first five minutes as Johnson scored 10 of the Cajuns' points. The Houston native reached the 1,000 point plateau at the 14:45 mark with a jumper.

Troy went on a four-point run to regain a 16-15 edge with 12:32 left in the first half.

Rotibi answered with a quartet of points, including a basket and two free throws to give UL the 19-16 advantage.

UL opened up to a five-point mark with a basket by Danyell Oliver at 9:21.

The Trojans cut the deficit to two with a fade away jumper from Dominique Ross. Oliver answered 10 seconds later to extend the Cajuns mark to 25-21. UL forced a turnover, allowing Johnson to drain a freebie to give UL a five-point mark.

Oliver finished with eight points in the contest. Jasmine Barnes also tallied eight digits and eight rebounds for Louisiana.

A block by Rotibi and a fast break score gave Louisiana a seven-point. Ieva Nagy drained a triple at 3:28 helping the Trojans pull within two, 32-30.

The Cajuns closed out the half on a 6-0 run to take a 38-30 advantage into the locker room.

In the second half, UL went on an 18-to-13 run to pad the Cajuns' lead to 16 points with 14:29 remaining in the game.

Johnson tallied her 29th point of the game with a jumper at 12:11 left in the second half to give UL the 56-43 advantage. The junior set the Earl K. Long scoring record tallying 34 points with her jumper at 9:53.

Past the half-way point, Louisiana went on a 13-to-6 run to extend the lead to 20 at 6:47.

Troy then used a four point run to make it a 69-53 contest. DeAngela Sword added an inside basket to cap a 7-2 run for the Trojans, making it a 71-60 contest with less than three minutes remaining. The Trojans pulled within 10 points with 15 seconds remaining in the game.

Sword finished the game with 26 points and four rebounds for the Trojans.

Louisiana (9-7, 2-1 Sun Belt) will remain at Earl K. Long Gym with a Saturday afternoon contest against Middle Tennessee. The Blue Raiders (11-4, 2-0 Sun Belt) have won five out of their last six contests. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m at E.K. Long.


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