Cajuns Blast Texas State, 80-54 for Fifth Straight Win
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns dominated in virtually every facet of the game and ran away from Texas State, beating the Bobcats before a crowd of 4,460 for their fifth straight win.
Shawn Long had his 65th career double double, scoring 19 points and hauling down 15 rebounds to pace the Cajuns, who also got 16 points off the bench from Devonta Walker and 14 from Jay Wright as Louisiana moved into a second place tie in the Sun Belt Conference.
Ojai Black led the Bobcats (9-8j, 3-5 Sun Belt) with 14 points while Kavin Gilder-Tilbury added 13 Louisiana held All-Conference performer Emani Gant and double digit scorer Ethan Montalvo to a combined nine points on 4-14 shooting.
"We shot 59% from the field and 79% from the free throw line and held them to 38% and just 23% from three," head coach Bob Marlin said. "We shot 36% from three point range and outrebounded them by 26, so with the exception of the turnovers, I'm pretty happy with the way we played."
The Cajuns outrebounded the Bobcats 44-18 in the game, with Wright tying his season high with eight boards. He also chipped in seven assists to lead the Cajuns in that department.
The Cajuns turned the ball over fifteen times in the contest. "We forced too many passes in the first half, and we let them get back into the game for a time in the second half. But overall we had a good night tonight,'" Marlin said.
The Cajuns (10-8, 6-3) never trailed in the game as Wright drilled the first of his four triples just 31 seconds into the game. Texas State kept things close and trailed by just 15-12 with 9:56 to play after a Bobby Conley jumper. But Hayward Register hit a three pointer, Long got a layup and after a free throw by Black, Long scord on a three point play to give the Cajuns a 23-13 margin with 7:06 to play in the half. The Cajuns closed the half on a 6-0 run with all the points by Walker to take a 35-21 lead into the break.
The Cajuns held Texas State to just 8-26 from the field in the first half and Long outrebounded the Bobcats by himself, 10-7 and had his double double by halftime.
The Cajuns increased the lead to 17 points, 46-29 after a shot from the bonusphere by Steven Wronkoski, but Texas State. But seven points by Gilder-Tilbury fueled an 11-2 Bobcats run that got the lead into single digits, 48-40 as the Cajuns missed six straight shots and committed three turnovers during a stretch of six minutes.
The Cajuns then came back with a 12-2 run of their own, however, as Shepherd hit a three pointer and Walker chipped in four points to get the lead to 60-42 and Texas State got no closer than 16 the rest of the way.
The lead ballooned to as many as 29 points when Elijah McGuire scored his first points of his Cajuns' basketball career with an offensive rebound and putback to give the Cajuns an 80-51 lead before the Bobcats scored the final three points of the game.
The Cajuns will meet UT Arlington in a battle for second place in the Sun Belt this Saturday at the Cajundome with tipoff scheduled for 4:15.