For the third consecutive game, J.J. Thomas recorded a double-double as Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns routed Centenary, 94-62, at the Cajundome on Wednesday night. It was the first time UL has posted a winning margin greater than 30 points since defeating Loyola-New Orleans in 2006 (89-57).
Thomas finished the night with a career-high 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting, 13 rebounds, three blocks and two steals. It was the first time a player from UL recorded three-straight double-doubles since Dwanye Mitchell accomplished the feat in the 2005-06 season.
Four other Cajuns joined him in double figures. Bryant Mbamalu had a career-high 20 points to lead UL and shot 10-of-14 from the floor. He scored 16 points in the second half. Scottie Farrington and La’Ryan Gary each had 11 points while Travis Bureau scored 10.
The Cajuns (4-14, 1-5 Sun Belt) shot a season-high 61.5 percent from the floor (40-65), while holding Centenary (0-20, 0-8 Summit) to 38.8 percent (19-49). It was the third time in the last five games that UL has shot better than 50.0 percent.
After a slow start for the first six minutes, UL connected on its next four attempts to hold a 12-7 lead at the 11:59 mark.
The lead quickly grew to 27-14 as the Cajuns went 6-of-8 from the floor over the next three minutes.
The lead grew to as much as 14 points, 34-20, with just under five minutes to go in the first half.
But the Gents closed to within six points by the 2:11 mark after a 10-2 run.
A three-pointer from Randell Daigle and a lay-up from Bryant Mbamalu capped a quick 5-0 run and put the lead back in double figures, 41-30, at the half.
UL shot lights out through the first 20 minutes. From the floor the Cajuns hit 62.1 percent of their shots (18-29). Defensively, UL held Centenary to just 36.4 percent (8-22).
In the second half, UL blew the game wide open. Centenary cracked the double-digit during the opening minutes but UL quickly established a 20-point margin, 61-41, by the 12:10 mark.
The Cajuns coasted the rest of the way, leading by as much as 28. Only once did Centenary creep within the 20-point margin but it was brief.
Another highlight of the evening came with 3:34 left in the contest. Phillip Jones, a walk-on for the past three years, connected on a three-point shot. The basket put UL up 88-56 and was the first made field of the junior’s career. Jones finished the night with four points, one assist and one steal.
UL won the battle of the boards, 37-27, and forced the Gents into a season-high 24 turnovers. The Cajuns turned those turnovers into 35 points.
In the dominating effort, Louisiana scored 64 points in the paint and got 50 points from the bench.