Cajuns Celebrate ‘Dome Opening, Hammer Nicholls 101-69
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns celebrated the re-opening of the Cajundome in style Thursday night, routing the Nicholls State Colonels, 101-69 before a crowd of 4,982.
The Cajuns placed six in double figures and never trailed in the game, opening their first double digit lead just 7:39 into the contest. Nicholls (4-4) never got closer than seven as the Cajuns (5-2) led by as many as 16 before taking a 48-35 lead into intermission.
Frank Bartley IV led the Cajuns with 19 points while freshman Justin Miller added 18. Another freshman, P. J. Hardy, scored nine of his 12 points in the second half, while Bryce Washington added another double double with eleven points and ten rebounds. Scott Plaisance and redshirt freshman Jerekius Davis each had career highs with ten points apiece.
Deandre Harris led all scorers with 21 points, while Ja'Dante Frye addded 15 and Jonathan Bell rounded out the double digit scorers for the visitors with ten points.
"We wanted to hold them to 18 or fewer three point attempts and we did that," Cajuns' coach Bob Marlin said. "We also hit another goal by outrebounding them by ten. Except for poor free throw shooting, we did a really good job tonight."
Nicholls, who hit 16 three point baskets in a win at Samford in their previous outing, were held to just 3-18 from beyond the arc. The Cajuns enjoyed a 39-29 advantage on the boards. The Cajuns, however, managed just 14-31 (45%) from three point range.
Louisiana's defense forced 22 turnovers and the Cajuns enjoyed a 41-14 advantage in points off turnovers. The Cajuns had 23 assists on 40 made field goals, with Jay Wright leading the way with five. Washington and Miller each added four assists each.
Nicholls, which opened the season with a win at Boston College of the ACC, got within ten points, 56-46 a little over four minutes into the second half, but got no closer. Louisiana led by a 64-50 count with 11:26 to go and then Louisiana put the game away by going on a 12-2 run over the next three minutes to take a 76-52 lead.
The Cajuns shot 58.8% (40-68) for the contest and 7-17 from three point range. Nicholls was 24-54 from the field.
Louisiana will try to make it six in a row Saturday afternoon when they travel to McNeese State. Tip off is at 1:00pm and will be heard on 96.5 KPEL-FM. The Cajuns will return home Wednesday night against Loyola (NO).