Cajuns Defense Throttles UALR 67-49
Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns played 40 minutes of stifling defense in Little Rock Thursday night, holding Arkansas-Little Rock to 25 percent shooting in each half en route to a dominating 68-49 win at the Jack Stephens Center.
The Cajuns (10-10, 4-2 Sun Belt) trailed twice early in the game, the last with 16:59 to go in the first half, but Louisiana then went on a 12-2 run to take a 17-9 lead and were never headed. A layup by Alan-Michael Thompson, who had 14 first half points, gave the Cajuns a double digit lead, 22-11 at the 8:50 mark and the Trojans (8-12, 5-1 SBC) never got within single digits again.
Thompson’s 14 points, which included three triples, led the Cajuns to a 38-22 halftime advantage. The Cajuns dominating first 20 minutes included a 16 rebound advantage, 28-12. Louisiana shot 15-27 from the field in the first half, including 5-9 from three point range.
UALR, meanwhile, was just 8-32 from the field in the first half.
D’Andre Williams, the Trojans leading scorer, didn’t get his first field goal until 18:56 remained to cut the Cajuns’ lead to 38-24, but the Trojans would go the next six and a half minutes without a field goal. The Cajuns struggled from the field as well, scoring just six points in the first 7:18. But the Cajuns defense never allowed UALR to get closer than 13 points in the second half.
Thompson did not score in the second half, but paced the Cajuns with 14 points. J. J. Thomas added 12 and Josh Brown, who was questionable to play because of a stomach virus, added 10. Brown played 30 minutes and added eight rebounds. Louisiana win the rebounding battle 52-35, with Thomas and Darshawn McClellan leading the way with nine each.
The Cajuns dominated the game, despite committing 22 turnovers, twice as many as the Trojans.
Raymone Andrews, who missed the last eleven minutes of the game Saturday against Florida International because of a hip pointer, was limited to just eleven minutes of playing time.
Williams, Guy and Will Neighbour, who all average double figures for the Trojans, were held to just 7-34 from the field and 1-12 from behind the arc. The 25.4 percent shooting in the game was a season-low for UALR.
The win moves the Cajuns within one game of first place in the Sun Belt Western Division behind UALR and Denver, both at 5-1.
The Cajuns will now travel to Jonesboro, AR to take on Arkansas State, who lost to East leader Middle Tennessee Thursday night, 59-46. Tipoff is scheduled for 7pm at the Convocation Center. The game will be heard on the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Radio Network beginning at 6;30.