Cajuns Body Slam Texas State 80-54
After punched in the mouth by last place Little Rock on Saturday, the question was would Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns be punch drunk, or would they punch back.
By halftime the question was answered and Texas State was badly bruised.
Louisiana used a 24-3 run over an eight and a half minute stretch to jump out to a big lead and advanced to the Sun Belt Men's Tournament Semifinals with a convincing 80-54 thrashing of Texas State Friday at the UNO Lakefront Arena.
Frank Bartley IV led the Cajuns with 23 points, 16 after intermission. Justin Miller came off the bench to add 14, while Jerekius Davis scored 12 points and Marcus Stroman added ten points and a game high eight assists. The Cajuns bench outscored Texas State in the first half, 23-15.
Nijal Pearson was the only double figure scorer for the Bobcats with 14 points
The Cajuns (27-5) trailed 5-4 at the 15:19 mark before going on the big run. Frank Bartley's layup gave the Cajuns the lead for good. Justin Miller hit back to back triples and assisted Cedric Russell on another. Jerekius Davis hit a three and Russell followed with another on the next possession as the Cajuns took a 21-7 lead. Bryce Washington got a layup and a dunk after a Texas State free throw and Bartley hit another triple and by halftime the Cajuns had run away from the Bobcats 37-15.
While the offense was clicking, the defense was shining as well as the Cajuns held the Bobcats (15-18) to just 24% shooting (6-25) in the first half.
Texas State got as close as 17 points, 40-23 after a three pointer by Tyler Blount, but the Cajuns quickly erased any hope of a comeback by going on a 16-3 run to lead by 30, 56-26 with 13:53 to play. The Cajuns substituted after that point. No Cajun played as many as 30 minutes and only four played more than twenty.
The Cajuns out rebounded the Bobcats, 36-28, with Bryce Washington hauling eight boards, while Bartley added six. Louisiana had 23 assists on 31 made baskets in the game.
Louisiana advances to the semifinals where they will meet either UTA or Appalachian State at 11:30 Saturday morning.