Cajuns Blast Arkansas State 96-59
After suffering through their worst shooting game of the season Monday in a loss to UL Monroe, the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns offense came back with a vengeance on Thursday.
It was a bad night for Arkansas State to be the Cajuns' opponent.
Louisiana blistered the nets, shooting 55% from the field, 63% from three point range in a 96-59 pasting of the Red Wolves before 4,080 at the CAJUNDOME.
Louisiana used solid shooting from the field and 15-16 from the free throw line in the first half to race out to a 51-28 lead.
In the second half, Louisiana let loose with a three point barrage that buried the visitors, hitting 10-11 from beyond the three point line after intermission.
Shawn Long played just 19 minutes and put on a show for the Cajuns (11-8, 5-3 Sun Belt), shooting 10-11 from the field including 5-5 from three point range en route to a 27 point performance. Hayward Register scored 17 of his career high 19 points in the second half and did it in just 14 minutes of playing time.
Freshman Bryce Washington was the only Cajun to play as many as 20 minutes, scoring seven points and taking team honors with seven rebounds and a career high five assists.
P. J. Hardwick was the only double figure scorer for Arkansas State (8-10, 3-6), with 17 points. Reigning Sun Belt Player of the Week Anthony Livingston and guard Cameron Golden, the two leading scorers on the Arkansas State squad, were held to a total of ten points and five rebounds with five turnovers in the game. Hardwick, the Sun Belt leader in assists (6.5 per game) had just one and turned the ball over four times.
Arkansas State scored the first bucket of the game on a Charlie Waters layup 26 seconds into the game, but Long answered with a triple four seconds later and the Cajuns would never relinquish the lead. The Cajuns gradually increased the lead to eight points, 23-15, with 8:03 left bevore the Cajuns went on a 10-0 run, with Long scoring eight straight points, to increase the lead to 33-15. The Cajuns led 51-28 at the break, with Long scoring 21 points.
The Cajuns came roaring out of the locker room in the second half, scoring the ten of the half's first twelve points to increase the margin to 30. Long hit his fifth three pointer of the night during that run. The Cajuns leading scorer and rebounder played only six minutes in the second half.
Register was 4-4 from three point range in the second half, with Tiremone Williams making his first two triples of the season. Brian Williams, Steven Wronkoski and Jay Wright also hit from behind the arc during the second half barrage. The Cajuns led by as many as 38 points before the final margin.
The Cajuns distributed the basketball as they tallied 20 assists on 32 made field goals in the game. Louisiana outrebounded the Red Wolves 41-29 as the Cajuns dominated virtually every statistic.
The Cajuns now travel to Atlanta for the rematch with Georgia State this Saturday. Game time is scheduled for 2pm and will be televised on ESPN3.