Bengals Late Surge Secures Season Opener

EUNICE, La. – LSU Eunice used a fourth quarter surge to cruise past Coastal Alabama-North 87-67 in the Bengals' season opener for the 2017-2018 season.  It was the program's first season opening win in four seasons.

Head coach Amanda Clemons admitted there were nerves for the young group as both teams never separated by more than six points in the first half.

"The butterflies were happening, so we were rushing a few things early," Clemons said. "We told them at the half that every single time we run our offense we score a basket.  They were able to do that in the second half."

Sophomores Rylie James (Basile HS) and Jaleya Gold (Bolton HS) paced LSUE with eight points each in the first 20 minutes.  Shanda Pugh kept Coastal close with a dozen in the first half alone.

The third quarter saw the Bengals spread the ball around.  LSUE had seven of its 11 players score in the third including five a piece from freshmen De'Asia Dixon (Huntington HS)and Bethany Broussard (Iowa HS).  Despite the team play, the Bengals held just a 61-55 edge heading into the final frame.

Returning leading scorer Rylie James netted back to back three pointers and Arianna Dargin (Iowa HS) scored on consecutive Coastal turnovers to help push the Bengals lead to 77-60 with 4:28 remaining.

The Bengals outscored the Eagles 26-12 in the final stanza to make it a comfortable first season opening win under Amanda Clemons.

James led all scorers on the night with 17 points.  Dargin chipped in 14 points in her first collegiate game.  LSUE had nine of its 11 players score points tonight including four in double figures.

The two teams will meet again tomorrow inside the HPRE Center.  Tip-off is scheduled for 1:00PM.  Fans can also find the latest Bengals information on social media via Twitter (@LSUEBengalsWBB), Facebook (@LSUEuniceBasketball) and Instagram (@LSUEBengals).